Lucknow: The All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) president Asaduddin Owaisi and Shia cleric Maulana Kalbe Jawad have come out in support of Uttar Pradesh IAS officer Mohd Iftikharuddin, who is being investigated on charges of religious conversions.
Owaisi alleged that the BJP government in the state was targeting Muslims for political mileage.
Owaisi said, “The UP government set up an SIT to ‘investigate’ a six-year-old video of a senior IAS officer. The video has been taken out of context and is from a time when this government was not in power. This is blatant and targeted harassment based on religion.”
Accusing the BJP government of double standards, he further said, “If the parameter is that no officer should be connected to religious activity, then prohibit use of all religious symbols/images in offices. If merely discussing faith at home is a crime, then punish all officers participating in public religious celebration.”
Well-known Shia cleric, Maulana Kalbe Jawad, has also come out to support the IAS officer.
He said, “Every person has the right to pray in his house. If this IAS officer offered prayers in a particular manner in his house, why should he be tried for it? SIT probe in every matter is not justified because everyone has the freedom of religion.”
The Yogi Adityanath government has taken a firm stand against forcible and illegal religious conversions in the state.
The UP ATS has arrested more than 14 people on charges of being involved in large-scale conversions across the country through their organisations.
During investigations, it was revealed that the people involved in this have been offering money for threatening innocents and luring them to convert to Islam, police sources have said.