Questioning the Ghaziabad Police’s claims that 400 people were converted to Islam using online games in Maharashtra’s Mumbra, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader and Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) from the region Jitendra Awhad sought “proofs”, terming it “an attempt to malign the image of the town which is seeing development”.
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. The Ghaziabad Police are looking for the alleged mastermind Shahnawaz Khan alias Baddo, a resident of Thane near Mumbai and have reached Mumbra. Two others have been arrested in the case.
While speaking to News18, Awhad said: “A senior officer of the UP Police has alleged that 400 children were converted to Islam via online gaming apps and there is a Mumbra connection to it. They should produce proofs and evidence of their claim. Why are they maligning the name of Mumbra town which is developing,” Awhad asked.
“Investment is coming to Mumbra. A lot of housing projects are underway in the city. It is a clear attempt to tarnish the image of Mumbra with such baseless news,” he said.
Mumbra is a largely Muslim-dominated town, with 25-27% Hindu population. Awhad has been representing this assembly constituency for the past three terms.
A senior police official from Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh states that 400 people of Hindu and Jain religion have been lured and converted into Muslims and being forced to follow Islamic practices. It’s disheartening to hear senior police official speak loosely on such a sensitive…— Dr.Jitendra Awhad (@Awhadspeaks) June 8, 2023
‘CONSPIRACY OF BJP GOVTS IN UP, MAHA’
Awhad also termed it a conspiracy of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) governments in Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra to defame the Muslim-dominated area. “They want to silence my voice, so all these attempts are being made by the UP and Maharashtra governments. Earlier, the state government had put a false case against me, and even added new sections to an old case to target me. I dare the UP Police to show me the 400 cases of conversions. They won’t find a single case,” said Awhad.
‘DEFAMING MVA FOR POLL GAINS’
“As their internal survey has shown that they will not get good number of seats in Maharashtra in the upcoming elections, they are trying to defame the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) by resorting to such tactics,” he said.
“It has become a routine for BJP leaders and ministers to make statements without facts. BJP minister Mangal Prabhat Lodha had made statement on the floor of Maharashtra assembly that there are one lakh cases of love jihad, but when I asked for proofs, he couldn’t produce one. The UP Police is doing the same. If they have proofs, they should show us,” he said.
Awhad also raised questions on the Maharashtra Police.
“How is it possible that so many conversions are happening in Mumbra town and our police are clueless about it? Why would the Maharashtra Police remain silent?”