The government on Tuesday decided to declare Islamic Research Foundation, an NGO promoted by controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik as an outlawed organisation under the anti-terror law for five years for its alleged terror activities.
The decision has been taken at a meeting of the Union Cabinet presided over by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The Cabinet approved a proposal to declare Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) as an ‘unlawful association’ under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act for five years, a Home Ministry official said.
A formal notification will be issued by the Home Ministry soon.
The move comes after investigation by the Home Ministry found the NGO was allegedly having dubious links with Peace TV, an international Islamic channel, accused of propagating terrorism, the official said.
According to the Home Ministry, Naik, who heads the IRF, has allegedly made many provocative speeches and engaged in what the BJP government called terror propaganda.
Maharashtra Police has also registered criminal cases against Naik for his alleged involvement in radicalisation of youths and luring them into terror activities, officials said.
Naik also allegedly transferred IRF’s foreign funds to Peace TV for making programmes.
An educational trust run by Naik have already been prevented from receiving foreign funds and agencies are looking into their activities.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra Education Minister Vinod Tawde tonight assured the students of a school run by Zakir Naik-promoted Islamic Research Foundation that the Centre’s decision to ban the NGO would not “adversely affect” them.
“Ban on Islamic Research Foundation (#IRF) will not adversely affect students studying there. Measures for rehabilitation will be instated,” he said in a twee
Naik came under the scanner of the security agencies after Bangladeshi newspaper ‘Daily Star’ reported that one of the perpetrators of the July 1 terror attack in Dhaka, Rohan Imtiaz, ran propaganda on Facebook last year quoting Naik.
The Daily Star later issued apologies for misreporting facts about him.
The Mumbai-based preacher who is abroad, has not returned to India ever since the controversy came to light.