The Uttar Pradesh Police has uncovered a racket in Ghaziabad in which teenagers were allegedly being manipulated into converting their religion through an online gaming platform. The Ghaziabad police have registered a case against two persons. According to reports, police have arrested a person named Abdul Rahman in connection with the alleged conversion. Meanwhile, another person – Shahnawaz Khan alias Baddo – is on the run.
Rahman was reportedly a cleric at a mosque in Sanjay Nagar area of Ghaziabad. Meanwhile, the second accused hails from Thane in Maharashtra. They allegedly intended to target young impressionable minds and lure them into religious conversion through an online gaming app called ‘Fortnite’.
"On May 30, a case of religious conversion was registered at Kavi Nagar Police Station, in which two people were named and were identified as Shahnawaz Khan alias Baddo, a resident of Thane, Maharashtra and Nanni alias Abdul Rehman, a Maulvi at a mosque in Sanjay Nagar area. Rehman has been arrested," Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Ghaziabad, Nipun Agarwal was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
According to an India Today report, four minors were identified – two from Ghaziabad and one each from Faridabad and Chandigarh – who were converted through this modus operandi.
According to the police, the online game required the users to recite verses from the Quran if they wanted to win. They were also reportedly shown videos of radical Muslim preachers Zakir Naik and Tariq Jameel to further persuade them into converting their religion.
The Ministry of Home Affairs and Uttar Pradesh government have reportedly sought a detailed report on the alleged use of online gaming applications to target children.