Mumbai police serve ban notification to Zakir Naik’s IRF | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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Mumbai police serve ban notification to Zakir Naik’s IRF

The Mumbai police on Thursday received the order of the Union government, declaring controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik’s Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) as unlawful under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

mumbai Updated: Nov 18, 2016 15:38 IST
Saurabh M Joshi
HT had first reported on August 8 that the government was planning to declare Naik’s outfit unlawful.
HT had first reported on August 8 that the government was planning to declare Naik’s outfit unlawful.

The Mumbai police on Thursday received the order of the Union government, declaring controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik’s Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) as unlawful under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

HT had first reported on August 8 that the government was planning to declare Naik’s outfit unlawful.

“The Mumbai police sent the copy of the notification to the office bearers of IRF on November 17,” said Mumbai police spokesperson Ashok Dudhe. The order said Naik’s speeches, which extolled terrorists such as Osama Bin Laden, were subversive and inspired “Muslim youth and terrorists in India and abroad to commit terrorist acts”. The order will be reviewed by a tribunal chaired by a high court judge. Naik, who is in Thailand, is accused of dodging the police after charges that his sermons allegedly influenced the Dhaka café attackers. Bangladesh has also banned Naik’s Peace TV.

Read: Zakir Naik extolling Laden, proclaiming every Muslim should be a terrorist: MHA

Now, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) — whcih was awaiting a final go-ahead from the Union home ministry — may register an FIR against Naik and Dongri-based IRF on charges of alleged violation of the UAPA.

The Mumbai police may also move against the state-based organisation if it continues with its activities. The government declaration, in effect, means no person can hold meetings, collect funds or become a member or office bearer of the IRF whose website says it is a registered, non-profit, public charitable trust. A ban under UAPA is valid for five years.

The decision to declare the IRF unlawful was approved by the Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday, home ministry sources said.

HT had first reported on August 8 that the government was planning to declare Naik’s outfit unlawful.

Naik’s trouble compounded after suspicion that his speeches inspired 20-odd people, who disappeared from Kerala, and are feared to have joined terror outfit Islamic State.

The IRF was registered under the charity law in 1990.

IRF activities were investigated on chief minister Devendra Fadnavis’ orders. Earlier, a separate probe was initiated by the special branch (SB), Mumbai police’s intelligence wing and the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) focussing on the managerial and monetary aspects of the IRF. The SB rummaged through several published material and audio records of Naik’s sermons that were in public domain and the cops found it controversial after studying it. The probe also linked one of the IRF’s employees Arshi Qureshi, a guest relationship manager, to a group of 22 men who went missing from Kerala and feared to have joined the Islamic State. The probe was being conducted by the Kerala police and was assisted by the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS), which led to startling revelations of how IRF was also part of the conversion racket in the city.

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