Controversial preacher Zakir Naik's NGO Islamic Research Foundation banned for 5 years

The Union Cabinet on Tuesday decided to declare Islamic preacher Zakir Naik's NGO 'Islamic Research Foundation' an outlawed organisation.

Last Updated: Nov 16, 2016, 00:26 AM IST
Controversial preacher Zakir Naik's NGO Islamic Research Foundation banned for 5 years

New Delhi: The Union Cabinet on Tuesday decided to declare Islamic preacher Zakir Naik's NGO 'Islamic Research Foundation' an outlawed organisation.

The ban on Naik's NGO has been enforced under Unlawful Activity Prevention Act (UAPA).

The decision has been taken at a meeting of the Union Cabinet presided over by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The Cabinet approved a proposal to declare Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) as an 'unlawful association' under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act for five years, a Home Ministry official said.

A formal notification will be issued by the Home Ministry soon.

The move comes after investigation by the Home Ministry found the NGO was allegedly having dubious links with Peace TV, an international Islamic channel, accused of propagating terrorism, the official said.

According to the Home Ministry, Naik, who heads the IRF, has allegedly made many provocative speeches and engaged in terror propaganda.

Maharashtra Police has also registered criminal cases against Naik for his alleged involvement in radicalisation of youths and luring them into terror activities, officials said.

Naik also transferred IRF's foreign funds to Peace TV for making "objectionable" programmes. Most of the programmes, which were made in India, contained alleged hate speeches of Naik, who had reportedly "urged all Muslims to be terrorists" through Peace TV, they claimed.

An educational trust run by Naik have already been prevented from receiving foreign funds and agencies are looking into their activities.

He came under the scanner of the security agencies after Bangladeshi newspaper 'Daily Star' reported that one of the perpetrators of the July 1 terror attack in Dhaka, Rohan Imtiaz, ran propaganda on Facebook last year quoting Naik.

The Islamic orator is banned in the UK and Canada for his hate speech aimed against other religions. He is among 16 banned Islamic scholars in Malaysia.
He is popular in Bangladesh through his Peace TV, although his preachings often demean other religions and even other Muslim sects. The Mumbai-based preacher who is abroad, has not returned to India ever since the controversy came to light.

Meanwhile, Naik's lawyer Mubin Solkar asserted that so far they have not received any such notification, adding that under the law, if any organisation is to be banned, the notification has to be published in the government gazette and then a copy of that has to be served on the concerned organisation. 

"So far we have not been served with any such kind of notification under section 3 of the UAPA. We are clear that this ban is not justified at all and it is an illegal ban because the provisions of UAPA have been wrongly invoked in this case. According to us, it is a clear misuse of provisions of UAPA," Solkar said. 

The move came after different investigations found Naik to be involved in utilising funds meant for his NGOs for alleged radicalisation of youths and "inspiring" them into terror activities, official sources said.

IRF Educational Trust, promoted by the controversial Islamic preacher was earlier put under prior permission category, thus preventing it from receiving foreign funds without getting nod from the central government.