Prayagraj, Jan 18 (SocialNews.XYZ) The Prayagraj police have arrested three persons, including a madrasa teacher, who were allegedly part of a religious conversion racket at the ongoing annual Magh Mela.
Of those arrested, two had converted to Islam sometime back and were found selling and distributing 'suspicious' books and pamphlets with the motive of encouraging religious conversion at the Magh Mela.
ADCP (crime) Satish Chandra said: "The accused also distributed objectionable books at other Hindu religious places including Kashi Vishwanath Temple and Assi Ghat in Varanasi, Hanuman temple at Prayagraj.
"The prime accused Mehmood Hasan Gazi used to hire youth for Rs 5,000 for the purpose. After the arrest, the accused informed the police that they used to take photographs, mobile numbers and other details of those persons whom they gave books for distribution."
The arrests followed after a BJP MP tweeted about objectionable literature being distributed in the Mela area following which police had detained two youths for questioning.
The ADCP said that the arrested persons include Mehmood Hasan Gazi, Mohd Monish a.k.a Ashish Kumar Gupta and Sameer a.k.a Naresh Kumar Saroj.
Police claimed during interrogation, Gazi confessed that he used to get foreign funding for religious conversion.
"He got foreign funding using e-wallets," police said adding further investigations were underway to unearth details about the racket and foreign funding received till now.
Police claimed 204 suspicious Islamic books, 3 mobiles, 4 Aadhaar cards, Rs 2600 cash and a diary were recovered from their possession.
The prime accused Mehmood Hasan revealed that he was a president of Bazm-e-Paigam-e-Behdaniyat and was a teacher at Madrasa Islamia Himdadia in Mariadih village of Puramufti.
"Mehmood Hasan used to print books and pamphlets in which Islam was exaggerated while objectionable comments were made against Hindu religion. Some books compiled and printed by Mehmood presented wrong interpretation and meaning of Vedic hymns and 'shlokas'," the ADCP said.
Youth of poor financial backgrounds were lured to distribute books and pamphlets at Hindu religious places. The motive behind distribution was to encourage religious conversion. People of weaker sections were soft targets, the ADCP said.