Mumbai: The National Investigation Agency (NIA), accompanied by the Mumbai Police, on Saturday carried out searches at 10 places in a case registered against preacher Zakir Naik's Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) in Mumbai.
The early morning operation came a day after the NIA lodged a case against Zakir Naik, IRF, and others under Section 153-A of IPC (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion...and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony) and various sections of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
Naik is under the scanner for alleged misdeeds, spreading or promoting communal disharmony, feelings of enmity between communities and supporting terror acts.
A team of the NIA sleuths, accompanied by the Mumbai Police, started the raids at 10 locations across the city owned or connected with the IRF.
NIA teams were still conducting searches with the help of local police.
"We are searching a few residential premises and a few office premises," an NIA official on condition of anonymity told IANS.
The central government had on Tuesday banned IRF for five years with immediate effect.
The move came after the government found the Islamic preacher to be involved in utilising funds meant for his NGOs for radicalisation of youths.
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.
The speeches of Naik, who is currently out of the country apparently to evade arrest, are banned in the UK and Canada as well as in Malaysia.
The Home Ministry found the NGO was allegedly having dubious links with Peace TV, an international Islamic channel, accused of propagating terrorism.
According to the Home Ministry, Naik, who heads the IRF, has allegedly made many provocative speeches and engaged in terror propaganda.
The Maharashtra Police has also registered criminal cases against Naik for his alleged involvement in radicalisation of youths and luring them into terror activities.
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.
An educational trust run by Naik has already been prevented from receiving foreign funds and agencies are looking into their activities.
(With Agency inputs)