Alleged Conversion Through Online Games Racket Busted, 23-Year-Old Arrested

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A racket of alleged religious conversion through online games has been busted in Maharashtra, and a 23-year-old accused arrested from a Mumbai suburb, police said today.
A Thane Court today granted a transit remand for the accused. The 23-year-old accused, Shahnawaz Maksood Khan, a resident of Mumbra, will now be produced before a Ghaziabad court within three days. He was arrested from Alibaug for allegedly converting children into Islam through online games.

Shahnawaz Maksood Khan used the digital name ‘Baddo’ and allegedly targeted children who played an online game. His arrest came after the Uttar Pradesh Police uncovered an alleged conversion racket in which teenagers were being targeted through an online gaming application. According to the UP Police, a person from Ghaziabad was arrested on Thursday and during his interrogation, Khan’s name came to light.

Responding to the issue of religious conversion through online gaming, Union Minister for IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar has said that the government is already working on a framework to ban such games.

As per the police, Khan and the cleric of a mosque in Ghaziabad were booked under the Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Act based on a complaint.

A man from Ghaziabad had lodged a complaint with the police last month alleging the cleric and Khan had unlawfully converted his son, who recently passed the class 12 board exam, to Islam.

As per the complainant, his son came in contact with Khan through an online gaming app and frequently spoke to him, following which he got inclined towards adopting Islam.

India’s Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY), Mr Chandrasekhar, has announced plans for new legislation that will aim to strictly regulate the internet and combat new cybercrime in the country. Consultations on the Digital India Bill will begin this month with stakeholders and the new Digital Personal Data Protection Bill will be presented in parliament soon, he told NDTV three days back.

The Digital India Bill is expected to address a variety of online safety issues, including combating child sexual abuse material, religious incitement material, patent violation material, and misinformation on social media platforms. “There are 11 things that we don’t want on social media – child sexual abuse material, religious incitement material, patent violation material, misinformation, and things like that,” he said.

The full list of 11 things includes porn, content harmful for children, copyright infringement, misleading content, impersonation, content deemed against India’s unity and integrity, computer malware, banned online games, and anything else that is illegal.

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