The nationwide massive Islamic conversion racket busted by Uttar Pradesh Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) has left the authorities befuddled as to how such a big racket continued for so long and received foreign funding from Pakistan and Arab countries. Mufti Qazi Jahangir Qasmi and Mohammad Umar Gautam, residents of Jamia Nagar, Delhi have been identified as the two main culprits, accused of converting over 1000 Hindus into Islam, mostly forced and consequently were arrested on Monday.
However, an interesting development has come to light as different layers of the case begin to unravel. Turns out, Mohammad Umar Gautam was earlier known as Shyam Prasad Singh Gautam before he severed his ties with Hindu roots and embraced Islam. According to Arab News, Shyam alias Mohammad Umar was born in 1964 in a regal Rajput family from Fatehpur.
Shyam’s slow walk towards Islam started in 1984 when he met a man named Nasir Khan in his Pratapgarh neighbourhood. During that time, Gautam had met with an accident and could not go to college. Khan helped Gautam in attending classes. He also took Umar Gautam to a hospital when he was injured and brought meals for him from his mess.
Khan, being a devout Muslim, provided books and scriptures on Islamic beliefs to Gautam. Gautam diligently read all the books provided by Khan, which also included books on Prophet Muhammad, Islamic hadiths and other doctrines. In 1986, two years after he met Khan, Gautam renounced his Hindu faith and converted to Islam.
And thus started an incessant urge of a fresh convert in Shyam to show his Muslimness to his brothers. Now rechristened as Mohammad Umar Gautam, he converted his wife and later his mother into Islam and started using every dirty trick in the book to lure, financially weak and disabled people into his cult of conversion. It is indeed curious to note that Shyam is a distant relative of former Indian Prime Minister VP Singh.
During the interrogation, the duo informed the police that they converted around 250-300 people every year. According to Uttar Pradesh ADG (Law and order) Prashant Kumar,”The deaf and dumb son of a couple living in Kalyanpur, Kanpur, was converted and sent to South India. Thousands of such cases have come to light. The people were promised money and jobs in lieu of conversion.”
Umar Gautam was quoted as saying, “I converted at least 1,000 non-Muslims to Islam, marrying them all to Muslims.” He also confessed to having converted over 1,500 children at school for the deaf and mute in Noida on the pretext of employment and money.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has instructed the concerned agencies to invoke the stringent National Security Act (NSA) against the accused. He has also instructed to book all the accused under the Gangster Act. The state government has directed the authorities to start the process of confiscating the properties of all those who are found to be involved in the racket.
A case was registered by ATS under Sections 419, 420, 295A, 505 and 506 of the Indian Penal Code. According to the Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Religious Conversion Ordinance 2020, brought in by the Yogi government last year, forced conversions are non-bailable offences with up to 10 years of jail time if undertaken unlawfully.
TFI has reported time and again that it is the zeal of fresh converts that drives them into pursuing such drastic and inconceivable ideas. Thus, what Mohammad Umar Gautam did shouldn’t come as a surprise to any. He was simply following the diktat of the ummah and trying to find his footing amongst the radical fundamentalists of his religion.