On May 9, Madhya Pradesh Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) teams raided places in different districts of Madhya Pradesh and Telangana. They arrested as many as sixteen members associated with the radical Islamic group Hijb-ut-Tahrir (HuT).
The HuT is a radical Islamic group banned in 16 nations, including China, Germany, Russia, Bangladesh and Turkey. The outfit’s aim is the re-establishment of the Islamic caliphate to unite Muslims and implement the Sharia globally.
Out of the sixteen arrested accused, five of the accused were converted from Hinduism to Islam, including Mohammad Salim (earlier Saurabh Raj Vaidya (Jain)), Abdur Rehman (earlier Devi Narayan Panda) and Mohammad Abbas Ali (earlier Benu Kumar). Five of the accused had married Hindu girls, with two of these men having converted to Islam only a few years ago.
This correspondent visited one of the accused families on May 23 at their residence in a village, Berasiya near the capital city of Madhya Pradesh, Bhopal. This report comprises details from the visit and the statement of the accused and his family after his conversion.
The visit started with taking a cab from the Karond bypass area of Bhopal and travelling 45 kilometres to finally reach Berasiya. It was around 100 metres from Thakur Lal Singh Higher Secondary School in Berasiya, that I reached a house, the name read ‘Raghuvar Niwas’.
As soon as I entered the gate, a man in his thirties directed me to the stairs, after walking up, I found an entrance, clothes were hanging by the rope and cleaners and acid bottles were lying on the staircases leading to the terrace.
The doors were open and as soon as I knocked, a man in a saffron shirt and white pants asked me to come in. Soon he switched on the cooler and asked me to take a seat, on a cushioned black sofa. This was, Dr. Ashok Raj Vaidya (as he introduced himself), the name on his certificates however suggests he is Ashok Kumar Jain.
Before getting into my conversation with him, let me introduce his youngest son, 41-year-old Sourabh Raj Vaidya. In 2010, Sourabh converted to Islam and became Mohammad Salim Jain.
So, my conversation with Dr Ashok (will address him as Dr Jain in the following story) was around Sourabh’s conversion to Islam and how he landed into this radical Islamic group HuT. As of now, Sourabh has been booked by the MP-ATS under charges of UAPA (Unlawful Activities, Prevention Act 1967) and Madhya Pradesh Anti Conversion Law.
Dr Jain joined a government Ayurvedic hospital in a village near Berasiya after his marriage, his family of five would live in Berasiya only. He has four daughters and a son. His son was an unplanned child and was born in April 1982.
Recalling his son’s childhood days Dr Jain said, he was a brilliant child, he was active in sports, had good oratory skills and would often top the class as well. All his children are teachers and professors including his son-in-law.
So was Sourabh, he did his bachelor’s in Pharmaceuticals from a private college, VSNL Bhopal, later he moved to Hubbali, Karnataka to pursue his master’s in pharmaceuticals. Upon returning from Karnataka, he joined TIT College and so became a lecturer. He also did a PhD in the same subject.
Back in 2010, his friendship grew with a man named Dr Kamal Khan at his college, Khan would often visit Dr Jain’s house but he never met him until 2011. Sourabh’s behaviour towards religious practices changed. Earlier he would even carry water from home, would not eat after 5 pm, would go to the temple, follow vrat and take Niyams did everything a Jain does. However, he suddenly stopped doing all of this.
Sourabh’s mother, Basanti Jain, was concerned about his behaviour and asked Dr Jain to talk to him. When asked Sourabh said, he wants to explore all religious texts before blindly following any of them. Dr Jain, being an educated parent allowed him to follow his curiosity and find answers to all his questions. Sourabh anyway was a post-graduate, grown-up man, how could he stop him from doing it?
In the following years, Sourabh got married to a woman of his own choice, Mansi Agarwal, she was working as a registrar at the IES College, Bhopal. It was a traditional Jain wedding, Dr Jain showed pictures from the wedding album, attaching some of them here;
Dr Jain said, he came from a very conservative family and hence he made sure his children are allowed to follow their own path. All of his children had done intercaste marriages, as Dr Jain said, it’s ‘Antar-Prantiya Vivah‘ as he does not believe in the caste system.
He showed Kamal Khan in the pictures, Sourabh is dressed in sherwani while Mansi draped a red saree in the reception. The pictures make you feel nostalgic, and look like your parent’s wedding albums.
Now, Dr Jain started recalling Sourabh’s inclination towards Islam. After his wedding, Dr Jain with his wife moved to their house in Berasiya while Sourabh and Mansi stayed at their flat in Bhopal. They were newlyweds and the family believed in leaving them alone.
Dr Jain would celebrate Diwali in Bhopal with his son and daughter-in-law, while Sourabh would visit them at Berasiya in Rakshabandhan and other festivals. One Rakshabandhan, Sourabh refused to tie the Rakhis on his hand saying, it is a ‘Kaffir’ practice. Dr Jain was shocked to learn it and after rounds of debate, Sourabh said, he wishes to convert to move to Delhi to learn Islam.
It was a shocking announcement to digest, the family was stunned. By then Sourabh and Mansi had a son and she was pregnant again. The family believed Sourabh should stay with them in Berasiya only, he agreed as Mansi also needed the family support.
Basnati Jain told Organiser when his son started living with them, he would leave home at a dedicated time every day, and when she asked he would say ‘It was not her business’. One day, Mansi caught Sourabh offering Namaz in the room, and she told her father-in-law. He would remove the posters and pictures of all the gods and goddesses from the home when his parents leave the house.
Dr Jain confronted Sourabh, but he became furious and abused him. He even tried attacking him that day.
In the following days, he would bring religious texts and give a copy of translated Quran to Dr Jain, his mother Basanti and his wife Mansi. He asked them all to accept Islam as it would be painful for him to see them in Jhannum. He said, all the ‘Kaffirs’ will burn in hellfire and all the believers of Islam would go to Jannat.
He would give reference of Islamic preacher Zakir Naik to convince his parents. Taking about Zakir Naik, Dr Jain said he watched one of the episodes of his show on television where he converted a Jain girl to Islam back in 2007 (way before Sourabh told him about Naik). After this, he also wrote to the then Information and Broadcasting minister, Ambika Soni, saying the methods used by this man for conversion are illegal and needs to be stopped.
One day, Dr Kamal Khan visited his family, he informed them that at a meeting with a senior cleric from Barabanki Sourabh has converted to Islam and his new name was Mohammad Salim Jain.
By then, Mansi gave birth to another boy, Dr Jain kept his name, a Hindu name. Sourabh had become Salim. He managed to brainwash Mansi and she too started attending the meetings and religious gatherings.
By 2014, Sourabh grew a beard, started wearing Kurta-Pajama, offered Namaz, attended religious gatherings and stopped following Jainism. He also got Mansi converted and her name was changed to Rahila Salim.
Dr Jain and Sourabh would have aggressive debates and conversations after all of this. He asked Dr Jain to accept Islam and also took his mother to one of the religious gatherings with the intention of converting. However, Basanti asked some questions to the religious preacher at the meeting after which Sourabh never took her there.
Asking Basanti what did she ask, she said, “I asked which religion asks children to lie to their parents or abandon them”.
She would ask him to remove his beard, she would tell lessons from Jainism and the tales of Mahaveer but to no avail. She even tried Kalawa and other things but nothing worked out.
After all of this in 2014, Dr Jain asked Sourabh to leave his house, as he was no more controllable. He said, “Take your Islam and leave my house”. He did not know where did he go after leaving his house. Dr Jain cut all ties with him, however, his wife Basanti was in touch with him and the children.
Basanti speaking about his son said, every time they spoke on call he asked her to convert and come to him. She even visited, Hyderabad once to check on them. She said, they lived in a Muslim colony, her daughter-in-law was Rahila now, and she used to cover her head with a scarf and wore Burqa. Basanti even tried convincing her but she was adamant. It was difficult for her to pass a single day at their house. She said, the local Muslim woman asked her to come to their place on Dawat, which she did not accept.
She said, his son never came home, and so did her daughter-in-law. Even if they visited Bhopal they stayed with the Muslim families only. They have no idea if she visited her parent’s house.
They had once come to Bhopal for their 50th wedding anniversary celebration. It was Basanti who called them, Dr Jain did not invite his son to the event. Pictures from the event are attached below. In the pictures, Sourabh can be seen in a beard and Rahila can be seen wearing Hijab and Burqa.
It is pertinent to mention that Dr Jain claims that his son was converted to Islam under the influence of Dr Kamal Khan and Zakir Naik. he said, earlier Muslims used to target the economically weaker and illiterate people for conversion now they have started targeting the creamy layer of the society. His son is a trophy to them and they used him as much as they could to lure innocent non-Muslims to Islam.
Sourabh has become a victim of Sahibi Islam, where the Muslims are treating him as their Sahib however, he is a mere puppet to them and a foolish child, said Dr Jain.
Dr Jain said, a few years back Mansi’s father was admitted to the hospital. Learning about his deteriorating health condition he paid him a visit. There he met Mansi again, she was in all Muslim attire, he also met his grandchildren there, he named them Anunay and Vatsalya but their names were changed to Yousuf and Ismail. They had been circumcised (told the children), and the children asked him to take them home with him, as they do not like staying in Hyderabad. When he was taking the kids out to get them refreshments, Mansi stopped him and sent them with a Muslim man, Yasir, he too has been arrested by the ATS teams.
This correspondent accessed the video statements made during a programme by Mohammad Salim Jain and his wife Rahila. The videos are available on a YouTube channel named Come Towards Success–CTS. The videos were posted four years ago and have views in lakhs.
In the video Salim Jain explains his struggles with accepting Islam, he shared how it was difficult for him to accept Islam in Madhya Pradesh due to stringent laws in place. He did recite Kalma here but he had to move to Maharashtra and Delhi to get his certifications done.
He shared, people from his community would ask his parents to talk to him as he had become a ‘gaddar’. His father said and he quoted, “My son has become 24-carate gold but is foolish”. He shared how his mother would take him to a number of Jain muni’s so that he can return back to Dharma, but he only walked under the guidance of Allah.
He made these comments while speaking with the recent converts, he said, that true Islam is not what the Molvis and clerics are telling it is cultural Islam, true Islam is what the Quran tells us, it is the one we must strive to follow.
The video of his wife Rahila Salim is also available on the channel and she shared her plight after she learned her husband had accepted Islam. She found him offering Namaz one day in their bedroom and this was the first encounter of her with the religion. Then Salim took her to meetings and religious gatherings, in one such gathering she had accepted Islam. The cleric who solemnized the process was arrested cleric Kaleem Siddiqui.
She can be seen saying, she only believed in gods and goddesses with multiple hands and not Allah. She would question her husband about the practices of Islam but with time Allah guided her to the right path and she became a Muslim woman.
Notably, Ashok Jain is part of a social and religious organisation called Satyamrit–Manav Dharm Shashtra, the organisation was started by Swami Satyabhakt. After following the motive of the organisation for years, Dr Jain became a Sadhu and took Deeksha in Ayodhya. He left his last name and opted for Raj Vaidya, where Raj means government and Vaidya means doctor.
He wears saffron clothes and leads a simple life. In their opinion there is only one god, the creator of the world, they call him Bhagwan Ram or Vishnu or Shiva, different at different places (they called him Bhagwan Satyeshwar and Bhagwati Ahimsa). He showed this correspondent, the temple of Sarva Dharma, where the creator of the world is placed in the centre while the other avatars are placed in the side. The temple has placed Mahaveer (founder of Jainism), Buddha (founder of Buddhism), Guru Gobind Singh (founder of Sikhism), and Jesus (founder of Christianity) and a picture of Mecca and Medina as there is no picture available of the founder of Islam Prophet Mohammad.
He has been to numerous religious gatherings and talks about Islam and the fake Islam of India. Talking with Organiser he said, the founder of Islam collected people in Arab countries with the help of Islam but Muslims in India have always used it to divide humans. This is not the true Islam, this is terrorism, no Islam will accept fooling people to convert, this is all propaganda. Every religion has changed with time, even if Mohammad had multiple wives or had to cover their head, keep a beard and all the Sunnat mentioned in the text, it was necessary for Arab not in India.
He said, “Ved me kaha gaya hai, tatkalik sach ko hamesha nahi maan sakte, wo tab ka satya tha aur Muslaman ko chahiye ki in dhongiyon se aage badhe” (It is said in the Vedas that, the truth of certain times is true for that time only, everyone has moved forwards so does the Muslims however, Muslims in India need to get ahead of these clerics who are selling lies).
Asked if he met his son since the arrest was made, he said no. He has been in police custody and should be, whatsoever will be the judgement of the court, will be acceptable to him and his family. His daughters are looking after them as of now.
He says he fears for the future of his grandchildren, what is their fault he said? He wants their custody so that they cannot become a victim of the rising Jihad in Islam.
Reports have claimed that Salim was actively recruiting people for the Islamic Radical group HuT and that he was also imparting weapon training to the recruits. However, Dr Jain said, his son might have been doing the conversions in large numbers but he cannot accept that he was into military training and that he was planning an attack against India. He said, the police investigations will surely lead to the truth and that he has full faith in the legal system of India.
Notably, Hizb-ut-Tahrir (HuT), the organization’s network has spread to more than 50 countries. More than 16 countries have already banned the organisation. This organization wishes to establish Islamic Shariah rule in place of a democratic governance system in India. To meet their nefarious agenda the organisation started working in bits and pieces in the state of Madhya Pradesh. The aim of the members of HuT was to propagate the idea of Islam among youth and prove it to them that the current governance system is a failure and anti-Islamic. The members wanted to create a rebel group by injecting lies into their heads.
The motto of the organisation was to join the maximum number of youths with the idea and prepare them for ‘Jihad’. Members were asked to collect donations and resources for the organization. The intention was to create fear among people by carrying out a major attack in big cities and crowded places. They were planning to target big cities of Madhya Pradesh.
Also, As per a press release issued by Madhya Pradesh Police, the ATS team arrested ten members of HuT from Bhopal and one member from Chhindwara district. The team also recovered anti-national documents, technical equipment, radical literature and other materials from the arrested members of HuT.