New Delhi: In what is likely to aggravate trouble for the controversial Islamic preacher, Zakir Naik, a report prepared by the security agencies has now claimed that he allegedly inspired as many as 55 terror accused, who were arrested from across the country over the past decade.
The list was prepared by the security agencies on the instructions of the Ministry of Home Affairs to explore whether any legal action can be initiated against controversial televangelist for spreading hatred among communities and supporting anti-national activities.
Those mentioned in the report have been either influenced by or believed to have regularly watched Naik’s speeches, said an Indian Express report.
The list contains the names of those arrested for terror-related activities from as far back as 2005 to those made by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) earlier this year.
Most of those arrested by the NIA and other agencies are said to be affiliated to groups such as the SIMI, Lashkar-e-Toiba, Indian Mujahideen and the Islamic State (IS).
The name of Feroze Deshmukh, a former Islamic Research Foundation employee who was arrested by the Maharashtra ATS for his alleged role in the 2006 Aurangabad arms haul case, also features in the list.
Several others named in the list are - Qateel Ahmed Siddiqui, an Indian Mujahideen member who was murdered inside Yerwada prison in Pune in June 2012, Biju Saleem, a former sub-inspector with the hi-tech cell of the Kerala Police and alleged SIMI sympathiser, alleged IS online recruiter Afsha Jabeen, who was arrested in September 2015 on deportation from the UAE, Mudabbir Sheikh, Mohammed Obaidullah Khan, Abu Anas and Mohammed Nafees Khan, who were arrested in raids across the country by the NIA in January for floating a local IS-affiliate named Junood-ul Khalifa-e-Hind, and alleged Jamaat ul Mujahideen Bangladesh operatives Asadullah Ali and Rafique Islam arrested during the Burdwan blast probe.
Meanwhile, security agencies are also closely following up the details of four criminal cases registered against Naik in the past, besides investigations into recent FIRs against the controversial Islamic scholar.
“It’s an exhaustive exercise involving a large team, which is carefully poring over all of Naik’s speeches, and looking at the activities at Naik’s Islamic Research Foundation in Mumbai, and the Mumbai and Chennai branches of the Islamic International School run by him. In addition, all past instances in which terror accused have claimed during interrogation that they were influenced by Naik, or would attend Naik’s speeches or listen to them on the Internet, have been compiled. A list of 55 such accused has been drawn up,” a source was quoted as saying in the report.