New Delhi: The Home Ministry is contemplating a ban on controversial Mumbai-based preacher Zakir Naik’s Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) who is accused of inspiring terrorists and has conveyed the same to the government.
According to a report, the government had drafted a list of FIRs filed against Naik for alleged hate speeches and the law ministry took them into consideration to decide if his organisation could be banned.
The law ministry is of the opinion that Naik’s IRF, which was founded by him in 1991, can be declared ‘unlawful’ under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). The Ministry of Home Affairs which is helmed by Rajnath Singh, has been informed that Naik’s foundation could be banned.
“The law ministry’s opinion makes a clear case of banning the IRF by declaring it an unlawful organisation,” a senior home ministry official was quoted in the report.
Officials feel they have a strong case against Naik and if his organisation is banned by the government then he would no longer be able to hold any meeting or raise funds under its name.
Naik’s advocate has cried foul over the report and said that the government does not have any proof against the preacher and cannot prove that he inspired any terrorist or promoted terrorism.
The preacher came to spotlight after it emerged that two of the five Bangladeshi militants who hacked to death 20 people at a restaurant in Dhaka’s diplomatic zone in July this year used to follow Naik.
Militant Rohan Imtiaz, son of an Awami League leader, propagated on Facebook last year quoting the Peace TV’s preacher “urging all Muslims to be terrorists”, the Daily Star had reported.
Naik had said he was not shocked to know that two of the attackers knew him but asserted that it does not mean that he approves of their ideology. He argued that such militants would also be ardent followers of Prophet Muhammad but that cannot mean that Islam preaches violence.
Despite his claims of innocence, the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), the Intelligence Bureau (IB) and other agencies in the country had swung into action and had begun scanning his activities footage of all his speeches.
The Ministry of Home Affairs was seriously looking into the charges against him and now, it looks like more trouble awaits the controversial preacher.