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Conversion Row: Despite ATS Clean Chit, 'Nationalist Writer' Termed 'Atankwadi'

Praveen claims investigating agencies have given him a clean chit but people back home have branded him a terrorist.

Updated
India
3 min read
<div class="paragraphs"><p>Praveen, a scholar from UP claimed that investigating agencies have given him a clean chit but people back home have branded him a terrorist.</p></div>
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Life has turned upside down for Praveen Kumar, 32, a resident of Saharanpur district in Uttar Pradesh, since a 'religious conversion racket' was busted by the anti-terrorist squad (ATS) of UP police in June this year and two conduits of the organisation allegedly behind the 'conversion racket' were arrested.

It was claimed the conversion racket, spread across the country, received funding from international organisations and was behind the conversion of over a thousand people in the last two years.

Soon after, a purported list of names of people who were lured into conversion by the organisation behind the conversion racket surfaced. One of the names was Praveen. He was initially interrogated in Saharanpur and was later asked to join the ATS probe in Lucknow.

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"The ATS team visited my house for three days. I was at the ATS headquarters in Lucknow for a week. They later dropped me off at my place. I have been given a clean chit."
Praveen
Conversion Row: Despite ATS Clean Chit, 'Nationalist Writer' Termed 'Atankwadi'

(Photo: The Quint)

Called a Terrorist, Asked to Go to Pakistan

Praveen, a PhD scholar, claims himself to be a nationalist writer with published books and poems. He has written two books – one on Prime Minister Narendra Modi titled 'Namo Gatha- Modi Ek Vichar' and another on UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath titled 'Yogi raj se Yoga raj tak'.

Praveen claims investigating agencies have given him a clean chit but people back home have branded him a terrorist.
<div class="paragraphs"><p>A note that was sent to Praveen asking him to "go to Pakistan"</p></div>

A note that was sent to Praveen asking him to "go to Pakistan"

(Photo: The Quint)

From 'Atankwadi' scribbled on the wall of his house to a note pasted asking him to 'go to Pakistan' has forced Praveen to seek justice. "A rumour has been floated in the village that if anyone is under ATS' scanner, he is a terrorist. Atankwadi was scribbled on the wall of my house. Recently, a note was pasted calling me a terrorist and asking me to go to Pakistan. I don't understand what their definition of a terrorist is. I, at times, have felt suicidal, but now I have decided to seek justice," he added.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>The word 'Atankwadi' scribbled on the wall of Praveen's house</p></div>

The word 'Atankwadi' scribbled on the wall of Praveen's house

(Photo: The Quint)

A Yatra to Reclaim His Lost Honour

Praveen has now embarked on a Samajik Nyay Yatra to 'reclaim his lost honour'. He will be filing a petition in the Supreme Court upon reaching Delhi on foot on 6 August.

After submitting a memorandum to the Saharanpur district magistrate, Praveen set off for the 230km journey.

"I am innocent, I can't live with societal abuse neither will I give clarification about the incident to people, relatives and the society and request them to treat me as innocent," an excerpt from the memorandum submitted to the district magistrate read.

Reacting to it, Saharanpur DM Akhilesh Singh said that he learnt about the memorandum from the media and will look into it. "He (Praveen) did not meet me in person. I learnt from the media that he came to the collectorate and submitted a memorandum. We will look into the issue raised and take appropriate action to address it," DM Akhilesh Singh said.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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