The Shiv Sena on Monday asked the Centre to abandon plans to catch mafia dons like Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar and Tiger Memon and instead book controversial Mumbai-based Islamic preacher Zakir Naik.
“Stop making announcements of dragging back Dawood or Tiger Memon from Pakistan...Now concentrate on Naik, this hidden enemy at home,” the Sena said in an edit in the party mouthpiece “Saamana ”.
Naik is under the scanner following revelations that two of the five young militants who massacred 20 hostages, including an Indian, at a popular cafe in Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka on July 1, drew their inspiration from his speeches.
Shiv Sena-- a coalition partner with ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) both at the Centre and in Maharashtra -- said that until now the National Intelligence Agency, Central Bureau of Investigation and police of Maharashtra-Goa are hounding the Sanatan Sanstha right-wing Hindu organisation.
“What about the propaganda and literature material of Naik -- it is directly fuelling separatist elements in the country. It seems he is trying to become a messiah of the Muslims by pushing them into hell. A new type of unrest and ‘Pakistan’ is being created in India,” the Sena said.
It urged the BJP governments in the centre and state “to display guts” and ban Naik and his “Peace TV” network all over the world, and demolish his propaganda machinery, as it is because of such people that Muslims were not able to join the national mainstream.
Bolstering its argument, the Sena recently said an Islamic State (IS) den was found in Hyderabad whose chief Ibrahim Yezda had confessed to attending Naik’s “peace camp” for 10 days.
“If this is the outcome of his ‘peace camps’, then India is being weakened by such holes... The government can postpone its plans to bring back ‘black money’ from abroad, but first it must catch those who are funding Naik’s peace initiatives and blow them off,” the Sena urged.
It also accused the Indian agencies of getting cold feet while taking action against Naik, though it has gone very enthusiastically after Sanatan Sanstha and others -- “Makes us wonder if its not Naik’s diabolical mind working behind all this”.
The party urged the government to immediately arrest Naik upon his return to Mumbai.