The city police on Friday served televangelist Zakir Naik’s Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) a notice from the Centre that banned the outfit under provisions of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA). The notice was also put up outside the IRF’s Dongri office on Friday morning. The IRF said they are seeking legal advice to challenge the ban.
The notification states Naik justified suicide bombers, made subversive and derogatory speeches that promoted enmity in society and gave birth to divisive ideologies against India. It also mentions statements of some of the arrested terrorists, who claimed they were inspired by Naik’s speeches.
The notice mentions five criminal cases registered against Naik, including those in Kurla (2013), Nagpada, Vengurla, Sawantwadi (2012) and Kerala, which is also the basis for the ban.
“We have given them the legal notice. If we find them operating despite the order, further action will be taken under the provisions of the UAPA and the IPC,” said Ashok Dudhe, deputy commissioner of police and Mumbai police spokesperson.
The police have deployed personnel outside the IRF office following the action to keep a tab on their activities.
Meanwhile, a statement was issued by the IRF saying, “We are studying the contents of the notification and the reasons cited for the ban and we will take recourse to legal remedies to get the ban revoked.”
Despite the ban, the IRF was functional till Thursday. The reason cited by people associated with the IRF was they were not informed about such a notification and were excluded from the full-fledged probe that was underway. The police were waiting for the gazette to initiate action.