AMU students protest against arrest of Islamic scholar

Aligarh/Lucknow, September 25 (KMS): A group of students in Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) held a march in the campus to protest against the arrest of prominent Islamic scholar Maulana Kaleem Siddiqui.

Siddiqui was arrested from Meerut last week and a local court remanded him in judicial custody till October 5. He was arrested three months after Delhi’s Jamia Nagar residents Mufti Qazi Jahangir Alam Qasmi and Mohammad Umar Gautam were apprehended by the Uttar Pradesh Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS). Qasmi and Gautam were running Islamic Dawah Centre for deaf-mute students and were arrested on the charges of converting the students to Islam. In Lucknow, the Uttar Pradesh Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) asked people to share any information related to Siddiqui and another accused Mohammad Umar Gautam.

The students in Aligarh handed over a memorandum addressed to the President to a senior official of AMU.

In the memorandum, they said the arrest of some Muslim clerics over alleged unlawful religious conversions and the harassment and eviction of Muslims in Assam on the citizenship issue were creating an atmosphere of fear and insecurity in the minds of Muslims. “Such witch-hunting of minorities would pose a threat to the peace and stability in the country,” the memorandum added.

The ATS has so far arrested 11 people, including Siddiqui, in connection with a religious conversion case. Those arrested were booked under various sections of the Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Act, 2020 and the Indian Penal Code, the officials said.