Nation Politics 11 Jul 2016 Zakir Naik cancels r ...

Zakir Naik cancels return trip to India, likely to issue video clarification

PTI | DECCAN CHRONICLE
Published Jul 11, 2016, 2:29 pm IST
Updated Jul 11, 2016, 3:16 pm IST
The Shiv Sena has meanwhile called for Naik's immediate arrerst on his return and also demanded that his Peace TV be dismantled.
Mumbai-based Naik, who is expected to be back in the city this afternoon, has been facing the heat following reports that his alleged "provocative" speeches had inspired some of the militants who carried out Bangladesh's worst terror attack in a cafe in capital Dhaka. (Photo: PTI)
 Mumbai-based Naik, who is expected to be back in the city this afternoon, has been facing the heat following reports that his alleged "provocative" speeches had inspired some of the militants who carried out Bangladesh's worst terror attack in a cafe in capital Dhaka. (Photo: PTI)

Mumbai: Self-styled Islamic preacher Zakir Naik, who was all set to Mumbai on Monday, has cancelled his trip, reports said.

The reports also said that the city based televangelist is likely to issue a clarification through his Youtube video channel.

Zakir Naik has been hogging the media spotlight for his views backing slain terrorist Osama Bin Laden and terrorist organisation al Qaeda. A speech in which he praised Laden resurfaced when it was revealed that one of the six militants involved in the Dhaka café attack drew inspiration from his speeches.

The Maharashtra and Central governments have swung into action, constituting nine probe teams from top security agencies in India to investigate Naik. His speeches, CDs, public documents and social media posts are being screened, and foreign funding to Naik is also been examined.

Meanwhile, the Shiv Sena, BJP’s alliance partner in the state government, on Monday, called for Naik’s arrest the moment he returns to India from Saudi Arabia and also demanded that his ‘Peace TV’ network dismantled.

The NDA ally also likened Zakir Naik's "social work" to the activities of Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar.

"The way fanatics like Pakistan-based Azhar Masood openly spew venom, people like Zakir Naik carry out through their social work in the name of peace by covert means...Naik has been nurturing anti-nationals for the last several years and the lessons in peace preached by him have been unmasked after the Dhaka carnage," the Sena said in a stinging editorial in its mouthpiece "Saamana".

Taking a dig at the state and central governments for allowing the preacher to carry on with his activities, Sena said Naik should have been thrown into the same cell as Mumbai attack convict Ajmal Kasab long back.

"Peace TV is in reality Preach TV. The Narendra Modi government at the Centre and the Devendra Fadnavis government in Maharashtra should show some courage and destroy all machinery of this channel," it said.

"The government can bring back black money when it wants to, but for now, the government should immediately destroy the financiers of Naik because the game he is playing will destroy our nation. Arrest him as soon as he returns to the country," the Sena demanded.

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