Delhi: Controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik, who is under probe by the Maharashtra government for his sermons that has kicked up a storm, is said to have collected large amounts of money in the name of his charity and later diverted it to his controversial propaganda channel Peace TV.
As per an investigation by CNN-News18, it has been revealed that that the money received by Islamic Research Foundation International, his NGO registered in the UK, were pumped into Peace TV.
The report further said that millions of pounds of money has been collected in the name of the UK based charity by IRF International.
At the same time, Mumbai-based Harmony Media supposedly prepares production content for Peace TV and both the offices are located in the same building.
Amir Abdul Mannan Gazdar is the director of both Harmony Media and IRFI.
The report added that the NGO was incorporated in 2007 in order to promote education and communal harmony. However, it turned out that its main purpose was to fund Peace TV.
Meanwhile, Naik is also facing probes by the Centre. The activities of the IRF came under the scanner of the Union Home Ministry amid allegations that funds from abroad received by it have been spent on political activities and inspiring people towards radical views.
A senior Home Ministry official had said on July 08 that an investigation had been ordered into the activities of IRF, which was registered under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), as per PTI.
On July 07, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had said that he had asked the Mumbai Police Commissioner to conduct a probe (into Naik's speeches) and submit a report. Everything, including Naik's speeches, his social media accounts, sources of funding would be looked into, Fadnavis (who also holds the Home portfolio) had said.
On the other hand, Naik had released a statement on July 08, saying that he 'totally disagreed' that he inspired the act of killing innocent people in Dhaka.
"There is not a single talk of mine where I encouraged one to kill another, whether Muslim or non-Muslim," he had said.
Naik's speeches are believed to have inspired some of the Bangladeshi militants, who killed 22 people, mostly foreigners, at an upscale restaurant in Dhaka last Friday.
(With PTI inputs)