Umar Gautam went to Britain 18 times,US four times for religious conversion programmes
LUCKNOW Maulana Umar Gautam, 57, who was arrested along with his accomplice Jahangir Alam, 52, for allegedly being part of a nationwide religious conversion racket, went to Britain 18 times, US four times and Africa for conversion programmes, said police on Wednesday after scanning two of his videos that surfaced before the UP Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS).
These videos purportedly showed Umar Gautam addressing people and narrating his story how he progressed in life after embracing Islam in 1984. He also stated that seven of his friends studying with him in a university got him to embrace Islam, said an ATS official.
Gautam’s original name was Shyam Prakash Singh Gautam and he was born in Thakur family of UP’s Fatehpur district in 1964. He embraced Islam under the influence of his Muslim friends while pursuing higher studies (BSc and MSc Agriculture) in Nainital in 1984, said police.
One of Gautam’s close friends from a Yadav family in Gorakhpur too embraced Islam under his influence and changed his name to Mohd Usman.
Umar Gautam and Jahangir Alam, 52, both residents of Jamia Nagar in New Delhi, will be interrogated further about their claims in the videos and conversion programmes conducted by them during their seven-day custody remand that began on Wednesday.
In the video, Gautam was even heard saying that several people from countries like Poland, Portugal, Germany, Singapore, US and England visited the Islamic Da’wah Centre (IDC) run by him in Delhi’s Jamia Nagar to get legal assistance to embrace Islam, said the official.
In a previous video, Gautam had stated that he and his organisation helped over 1,000 people embrace Islam in Delhi, UP and other parts of the country, said the official.
“The ATS has also come to know about Gautam’s properties in Ghaziabad. A team will be sent along with him to Ghaziabad to probe into his network in Ghaziabad and people linked to his mass religious conversion racket,” he added.