Dhaka: Bangladesh has banned controversial Indian Islamic preacher Zakir Naik's Peace mobile phone, days after blocking his Peace TV from airwaves and online, according to a media report on Thursday.
"These phones cannot be allowed anymore because there is a clear instruction from the government to stop all kinds of publicity of Zakir Naik," telecoms regulator BTRC Chairman Shahjahan Mahmood was quoted as saying by Bdnews24.
Beximco Group imports Naik's Peace mobile. Marketed as "Islamic mobile handsets", the website of the brand says that the phone comes loaded with options to access Naik's Peace TV sermons in English, Hindi and Urdu.
They also come packed with Islamic wallpapers, access to the Quran and reminders about prayer timings etc. The website also mentions the name of Beximo Group as the sole Bangladesh importer and the address of the group office in Dhaka.
A senior BTRC official said Beximco had imported about 500 mobile phones in 2014 but none since then, although it had applied for the renewal of the permit.
Another importer, Noha Enterprise, was also known to import the mobile phones. However, they flaunt a different logo.
According to the rules, the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (BTRC) permission is mandatory before a mobile handset brand is allowed to operate in Bangladesh.
The BTRC was yet to be furnished with samples of the set before the International Mobile Equipment number was allotted and the decks cleared to allow spectrum access.