Azamgarh, May 29 (). Police in Uttar Pradesh’s Azamgarh district have stepped up the investigation after arresting 18 people, including the mastermind, in the conversion case last week. The police are now looking into the number of people who were approached for conversion.
According to the police, the mastermind Sikandar, who claims to have links with a shrine in Barabanki, and his accomplices had decorated an area in the slum of Chirkihit village in Devgaon as a shrine and encouraged conversions during qawwalis and religious discourses. .
Sikandar, a resident of Barabanki, was among those caught in last week’s crackdown. The police is now on the lookout for those people whom he had contacted and managed to convert.
Azamgarh SP Anurag Arya told reporters that when police reached the spot on May 25, qawwali and discourses were going on.
The accused were booked under the UP Unlawful Religious Conversion Prohibition Ordinance.
Police claimed that Sikandar and others confessed during interrogation that they had mobilized people for religious conversion at the event and had received money for such activities.
Meanwhile, a pregnant Dalit woman was raped and later poisoned to death for refusing to convert.
The deceased working in a local hospital was three months pregnant.
According to police sources, the woman had a relationship with the accused Mohammad Naved, who described himself as a Hindu.
The woman was admitted to the district hospital in Shahjahanpur in a critical condition on Saturday night by Naved and his friend Farhad Khan.
Naved told the hospital staff that she was his wife Zoya Siddiqui.
However, the hospital staff found their activities suspicious, as the two tried to flee when they learned that the woman had died.
The two were arrested after it was discovered that they had entered false information into hospital records.