NEW DELHI — Prominent Islamic scholar Maulana Kaleem Siddiqui walked out of jail on Wednesday evening after being behind bars for 590 days.
He was granted bail by the Allahabad High Court a month ago.
Maulana Siddiqui was arrested in an alleged case of anti-conversion by Uttar Pradesh Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) in September 2021.
The ATS accused him of engaging in propagation of Islam and forcefully converting people.
Maulana Siddiqui is a well-known religious propagator from Phulat, Uttar Pradesh. He is also president of the Global Peace Centre and Jamia Imam Waliullah Trust.
His incarceration sparked strong disapproval from leaders in the Muslim community who expressed doubts over the accusations leveled against him, contending that propagation of one’s religious beliefs is a fundamental constitutional right and that the act of converting is not a punishable offence.
Maulana Siddiqui was welcomed by his family and a large number of people at his residence late Wednesday.
Maulana Umar Gautam and Mufti Qazi Jahangir Quasmi are still languishing in jail under the same anti-conversion law since June 2021.