MUMBAI: Rizwan Khan, who was arrested from Kalyan on Saturday, and Arshid Qureshi, held from Navi Mumbai earlier in the week, had reportedly facilitated the conversion of around 800 people across the country, including many in Mumbai, ATS officials said.
Both are connected to controversial televangelist Zakir Naik’s Islamic Research Foundation (IRF), officials said. Several documents and marriage certificates had been seized from Khan, which indicate that he and Qureshi had converted over 800 Christians and Hindus to Islam, officials said.
Sources told TOI that during interrogation, Rizwan said he ran a marriage bureau and was not involved in any forced conversion. Officials in the security establishment stated that the arrested accused, along with two other organizations apart from the IRF, were working to carry out conversions on a very large scale. They said IRF was an umbrella organization.
“It’s a very critical issue and needs to be addressed on a priority basis,” said an officer monitoring the situation. They stated that the organizations involved in conversion mainly target college students and jail inmates after providing them legal and financial help.
One of these organizations rubbished the conversion allegations, an official said. Its representative admitted that Khan used to visit their office, but was not associated with their organization in any official capacity.