Lucknow, June 25 : After the Uttar Pradesh ATS arrested Umar Gautam and Jahangir for illegal religious conversion of at least 1,000 underprivileged youth, the state police have found the syndicate's penetration in around 24 states.
Additional Director General of Police (ADG) Law and Order, Prashant Kumar, said, investigators are reaching out to families who were lured into converting to Islam and found that the gang had a well-oiled machinery with a countrywide reach.
"The issue is sensitive and under investigation. We will launch an ATS helpline number for parents who wish to divulge information on forceful conversion of their children. We are interrogating Umar Gautam and Jahangir and gathering clues," he said.
ATS officials also raided two establishments linked to accused Umar Gautam in Malihabad and Hardoi and documents seized from the campus are being scrutinized to track source of funds.
"Umar was Vice-President of the Malihabad unit and we are trying to find out if the two institutes were used as a base for forceful conversion," said an officer involved in the investigations.
A senior ATS official said that a school principal who made Urdu and Arabic compulsory for Hindu students in Fatehpur will also be questioned.
"Umar Gautam would often visit the school accompanied by 20 clerics," said a teacher who lodged a complaint against the principal.
On Monday, the ATS arrested Umar Gautam and Jahangir from Delhi on charges of converting poor women and children with speech and hearing disabilities.
The ATS is looking into various schools for children with speech impairment.