Maulana Kaleem Siddiqui, a well known Islamic scholar who was arrested by the Uttar Pradesh Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS) for allegedly running the largest conversion syndicate is said to have a network bigger than that of Umar Gautam, said the police on Thursday. The officials also said that the cleric was also receiving funding from Pakistan for the illegal conversions.
Siddiqui, who is suspected of converting lakhs had the agenda of 'love jihad' and increasing the Muslim population in the world.
The ATS is conducting a search on finding five of his associates, who are currently at large. Reports suggest that they might be hiding in Meerut, Muzaffarnagar, and Delhi.
During the interrogation of ATS, Maulana Kalim also said that after the arrest of Umar Gautam, he too was afraid of being arrested. He confessed to changing his mobile number twice to avoid being caught by the ATS.
UP ATS arrested Kaleem late on Tuesday night while returning from a program from Meerut. The ATS interrogated Maulana and three of his associates throughout the night.
Maulana Siddiqui is a resident of Fulat of Muzaffarnagar. Apart from Phulat, madrassas are run under his name in many places. Maulana's popularity can be gauged from the fact that he receives invitations from the country as well as abroad to attend the program.
Siddiqui had also participated in the nation first and nation paramount program organized by RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat in Mumbai earlier this month. ADG Law and Order Prashant Kumar said on Thursday that they received information about Maulana for indulging in illegal conversion.
Islamic scholar Maulana Kaleem Siddiqui was on close watch of the security agency due to suspicious activities.