Reported By: Anshul Singh
Last Updated: June 09, 2023, 18:47 IST
Even as the hunt for the main accused in the Ghaziabad conversion case — Shahnawaz Khan alias Baddo, a resident of Thane near Mumbai — is on, News18 has exclusively accessed WhatsApp chats between the kids and the alleged mastermind that reveal his modus operandi. Another accused Abdul Rehman alias Nanni and a maulvi of Jama Masjid in sector 23 of Ghaziabad have been arrested in the case.
The racket was exposed on May 30 when the father of a juvenile filed a complaint at Ghaziabad police station, alleging that his kid had suddenly started to offer namaz five times a day. When he confronted the child, he got angry and said that he would leave the house and stay with the maulvi he was in touch with.
According to police, Khan used to handpick kids who spent a lot of time playing online games and on social media. These kids were then told that if they recite the verses of the Quran, Allah will help them win the game. As the servers were mostly controlled by them, they used to make sure that these kids won, thus gaining their confidence.
The kids were then asked to join specific servers on the social media website, Discord. Once the kids joined, they were shown videos and audios of how Islam is the best religion in the world and they were then connected to a local maulvi. This maulvi then became the point person who would tell the kids about the timings of namaz and to teach them how to offer the prayers.
WHAT THE WHATSAPP CHATS SHOW
According to the chats, the code word for namaz was ‘gym time’.
In a few chats, it has come across that if the kids forgot to offer namaz or skipped it, they were scolded and threatened that “God will get angry”.
Videos of televangelist Zakir Naik were also shared along with a few links of verses of Quran. Once the kids were influenced, they were asked to go to the masjid for namaz.
The Ghaziabad Police also suspect an international angle as videos of a Youtube channel operating from Pakistan were shown to the kids and the servers were operating from the Middle-East.
Central agencies have also started to take interest in the investigation, but first information report (FIR) has not been filed so far.