By Staff Writer
Maulana Qaleem Siddiqui was on Tuesday arrested by Uttar Pradesh’s anti-terrorism squad (ATS), for supposedly forcing conversions and on charges of receiving foreign funding.
Maulana Siddiqui’s arrest follows Mufti Qazi Jahangir Alam Qasmi and Dr Omar Goutam on similar charges.
Since the rise to power of Modi’s BJP, India has become ever more intolerant toward minorities, with so-called ‘communal violence’ increasing, encouraged by ruling party officials.
Maulana’s case is indicatory in that six different task forces were formed to supposedly investigate his dawah work, especially as the country becomes ever more intolerant of difference.
Speaking to Radio Islam International, Advocate Fuzail Ayyubi, representing the Maulana, stated that Maulana’s arrest arose out of the Goutam case and that the supposed ‘forced’ conversions were only allegations.
Ayyubi contrasted the recent arrests and media allegations to those made in 2020 of the Tabligh Jamaat event as a Coronavirus superspreader. All cases that have gone to court after this was thrown out due to lack of evidence. However, it was noted that the shocking general allegations remain, since they’re too frivolous to challenge constantly.
Further, because charges have not yet been levied, Mr Ayyubi argued that Maulana would likely continue to be imprisoned in the immediate term. It was further noted that the charges of foreign funding, according to Mr Ayyubi, were allegations for the moment. He also reiterated the strict regime for NGO operations in the country, which is a means of disempowerment and disenfranchisement.
Qasmi and Goutam are accused of ‘forced’ conversions of hard of hearing individuals; however, little evidence has been provided to date.