Book Islamic preacher Zakir Naik and IRF under anti-terror law: Legal opinion to MHA

Zakir Naik, in a media interaction via Skype from Saudi Arabia, had rubbished allegations against him.

Book Islamic preacher Zakir Naik and IRF under anti-terror law: Legal opinion to MHA
File photo

Delhi: Controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik may be booked under anti-terror law with a legal opinion is said to have suggested action against him and Islamic Research Foundation (IRF).

Sources said the Home Ministry had sought a legal opinion on the possible action to be taken against Naik for his controversial activities, including allegedly delivering hate speech.

The legal opinion is understood to have conveyed to the Home Ministry that Naik's statements in different forums allegedly promoted enmity and hatred between religious groups and inspired and incited terrorists.

A case of should be registered against Naik under anti-terror laws for allegedly delivering hate speech on different occasions, sources said quoting the legal opinion.

The legal opinion suggested that there is a 'conscious intention' on Naik's part towards spreading enmity among religious groups, as per PTI.

Apart from Naik, cases should be registered against his NGO IRF, which is allegedly funded radical activities, the legal advice said to have suggested.

Naik, a Mumbai-based tele-evangelist, who also runs Peace TV, has been under scanner of various agencies after one of the attackers involved in the Dhaka terror attack had posted that he had been influenced by the preacher.

Naik, in a media interaction via Skype from Saudi Arabia last month, had rubbished allegations against him while terming himself as the 'messenger of peace'. 

He had also said that he would not return to India this year.

Earlier this month, police had said that the Islamic preacher had received foreign funding of Rs 60 crore which was subsequently transferred in the bank accounts of his family members.

They had also said that the tele-vangelist had floated four shell companies in which his kin were directors.

Meanwhile, on August 09, it was reported that Naik had been 'indicted' by the Mumbai Police which had found him to be allegedly involved in unlawful activities with possible terror links.

Giving details, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had said that a watertight case was being prepared against him and also that efforts would be made to extradite him. 

Mumbai Police, tasked with probing his alleged provocative controversial speeches, submitted its report to the state government.

Police were asked to probe Naik's speeches available online to see if any of them could have encouraged youths to join terrorist groups.

"The report has made observations about him (Naik) making (critical) comments on other religion and belittling them - an action that would cause disharmony in society. The report also has details of countries that have banned him or his organisations. The government is examining the report which have several aspects that are in the domain of the Centre," Fadnavis had told reporters in Mumbai.

"There are many revelations in the report about illegal and unlawful activities (allegedly involving Naik and IRF) and activities which are not in interest of the nation The report has shed light on aspects like his relation with Firoz Deshmukh (a terror accused). It also talks about its links with Jamaat-ud-Dawa (a front of Pak-based terror outfit LeT) and Indian Mujahedeen and other activities that are illegal," he had added.

On the other hand, in a statement IRF had said all allegations levelled against Naik were 'false and baseless'. "IRF is not privy to the Police Commissioner's report, but from reports put across in the media, IRF wants to reiterate that the allegations are false and baseless. Dr Zakir Naik firmly believes in promoting peace and harmony and has been doing that for decades. IRF is a research body that promotes greater awareness of Islam and its tenets. Dr Zakir Naik is an expert in comparative religion and has been conducting well- researched talks on Islam and other religions across the world," the release had said.

(With PTI inputs)

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