Searches were conducted ‘at the direction of a special NIA court, says ATS
Waquar Hasan | Clarion India
NEW DELHI – Uttar Pradesh’s Anti-Terror Squad (ATS) on Tuesday conducted searches on four premises that are said to belong to jailed Islamic preacher Kaleem Siddiqui. All the premises are located in Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh.
According to ATS, these premises are the residences of Siddqui and Abdul Rahman as well as offices of Global Peace Centre and World Peace Organisation.
The ATS said in a press release that it conducted searches to seize “important documents at the direction of a special NIA court in cooperation with Delhi Police”. There were six teams of the ATS along with commandos for the purpose of the raids.
“During the searches, several desktops, tablets and important documents were seized by the ATS. These documents will be presented before the respected court during examination of the witnesses,” said ATS.
The ATS also pasted a notice at the residence of Siddqui, which, the locals say, is a madrassa run by him. The notice is in the name of one Junaid and dated on 28 September. It asks him to report at the office of the ATS within 5 days. The notice says that he has to give his statement in connection with the conversion case.
“Therefore, in this regard you are informed that you should ensure that you give your statement at the ATS office located in Lucknow’s Anora. If you don’t follow it, legal action can be taken against you,” reads the pasted notice.
The ATS did not clarify as to who Junaid is. Local residents said that he is Maulana Junaid, a close aide of Siddqui, who used to take care of the Shaheen Bagh madrassa.
Talking about the raids, the locals said that a team consisting of around 30 policemen including women constables along with media persons came to raid after 11:30 am and conducted searches for more than an hour. Apart from documents and computers, they also took away a printing machine from the madrassa which remains close ever since Siddqui was arrested, said the locals.
Apparently, Siddiqui is quite popular in the locality. People talk very high of him. They believe he is being targeted because he preaches Islam.
“This is all politics. I feel that wrong is being done with him and Islam is being targeted. According to the Indian constitution, everyone was given the right to propagate their religion. Everyone whether it’s Hindus or Christians propagate their religion. The constitution gave us the right to propagate religion. He has done nothing wrong,” said Alam, who lives in the area.
Another resident Mohd Mohsin also felt that Siddqui is a noble soul and the charges levelled against him are baseless. “There is a political agenda behind these cases,” he said.