NIA files chargesheet against Zakir Naik in hate speech, incitement case
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Thursday filed a chargesheet in a special court in Mumbai against controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik for allegedly inciting youth to take up terror activities, giving hate speeches and promoting enmity between communities.
“We filed a charge sheet against Naik,” an NIA official said.
Naik, who is currently abroad, is being probed under terror and money-laundering charges by the NIA. He fled from India on July 1, 2016, after terrorists in neighbouring Bangladesh claimed they were inspired by his speeches.
The federal counter-terrorism agency registered a criminal case against the 51-year-old televangelist on November 18, 2016, under various sections of the Indian Penal Code a day after his organisation, the Islamic Research Foundation (IRF), was declared “unlawful” by the government. Since then, the NIA has been investigating the IRF and Naik.
The NIA has also claimed Naik has been promoting enmity between different religious groups in India through his public speeches and lectures. Naik and his associates have been stirring up discontent against the Indian government, which affects harmony between communities and could disturb the peace, the agency has also said.
Investigations have revealed that his speeches on several occasions led to communal tension and near violence among followers of different sects and religions and created serious law-and-order situations, the NIA said.
The Enforcement Directorate also registered a case against Naik’s close associate Amir Gazdar, allegedly for money laundering. In the complaint, Naik has been shown as an accused.