NIA begins removing online contents of Islamic preacher Zakir Naik's ​banned IRF

On November 19, the NIA had registered a case against the Islamic preacher Zakir Naik and his organisation under anti-terror laws.

Updated: Nov 21, 2016, 18:21 PM IST
NIA begins removing online contents of Islamic preacher Zakir Naik's ​banned IRF
Pic courtesy: @zakirnaikirf

Delhi: The NIA has begun removing online contents of banned Islamic Research Foundation (IRF), including alleged hate speeches by its founder Zakir Naik, PTI reported on Monday.

On November 19, the NIA had registered a case against the Islamic preacher and his organisation under anti-terror laws and for allegedly promoting enmity between groups on the basis of religion and race.

The anti-terror probe agency's action had come barely four days after the Union government had declared IRF a banned organisation under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

After registering case against the 51-year-old Naik, IRF and others, NIA sleuths along with Mumbai police had carried out searches at 10 places in the megapolis, including residential premises of some of the office bearers of the foundation, which was earlier put on restricted list by the Union Home Ministry for receiving funds from abroad.

Naik, who has been staying in Saudi Arabia to evade arrest after his name surfaced during probe into the Bangladesh terror strike earlier this year, has been booked along with unnamed IRF officials under section 153-A of IPC (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony) beside various sections of UAPA.

"Many documents have been seized," NIA Director General Sharad Kumar had told PTI.

However, Kumar had refused to divulge further details about the search operation and had said, "it will be too premature for us to say anything as of now".

But sources in the probe agency had said Rs 13.5 lakh cash and some gold had been seized from one of the locations.

The charges slapped in the FIR, registered by the NIA's Mumbai branch, also included sections 10 (being member of an unlawful organisation), 13 (punishment for being member of illegal organisation) and 18 of UAPA (punishment for being involved in a conspiracy for committing any terror act).

IRF came under the scanner of various security agencies after one of the terrorists involved in the Dhaka cafe attack had allegedly posted on social media that they had been inspired by Naik's speeches.

Some of the youths from Mumbai suburbs, who had left their home to join Islamic State earlier this year, were also allegedly inspired by the preacher. 

(With PTI inputs)