Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis has ordered a thorough investigation into preacher Zakir Naik’s speeches and activities, asking Mumbai police commissioner Dattatray Padsalgikar to handle it. Any further action will depend on the probe report.
“I have asked Mumbai police commissioner to probe the Zakir Naik episode. He has been asked to submit a report to the government,”Fadnavis told the media on Thursday.
Following Fadnavis’ order, a team of 10 police officers to investigate Naik and his non-profit organization, Islamic Research Foundation (IRF). Apart from his speeches and videos, the funding for the IRF would be looked into, officials said. The cyber crime investigation cell and the economic offences wing are likely to be part of the probe.
The police will also look into the programmes and functioning of Naik’s satellite channel, Peace TV.
“A team has been formed and all the required things will be probed. Nothing more can be shared at the moment,” said Ashok Dudhe, deputy commissioner and Mumbai police spokesperson.
A senior police officer said Naik would not be allowed to use a public hall or ground to address the press on his return from Mecca. He can use a private place for the press briefing likely on July 12, the officer said and cited security considerations as the reason.
The contents of more than 150 videos of Naik’s speeches and interviews uploaded on a popular global video sharing website were being analysed. “Request would be made to the hosts of the website to delete or block the ‘dangerous’ ones,” sources added.
The police were also collecting literature and videos circulated locally through the Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) he set up at Dongri in 1991. “We are collecting every possibly information on Naik’s conduct. If the evidence is deemed to be actionable, the needful will be done,” sources added.