In a significant development, Maharashtra State Intelligence Department (SID) has reportedly conceded that there was no case to be made out against Islamic preacher, Dr Zakir Naik.
Quoting sources in the special team of the SID, The Hindu reported that the the officials had watched hundreds of YouTube videos to arrive at the conclusion that Naik will not and cannot be arrested on his return to India.
A senior official reportedly told the paper that they had collected a dossier of evidence collected from the other intelligence teams in various states, including Hyderabad, where an ISIS module was reportedly inspired by Naik’s speeches.
“There is no case to be made out against the English-speaking preacher, except maybe the possible charge of hurting religious sentiments, but even that cannot be established from his speeches. We are tracking his movements and only if he speaks out of turn, can we ‘pin’ him down on a charge. For now, we are closely monitoring him,” a senior police official was quoted as saying.
Another official said that the Islamic preacher may have fallen victim to personal rivalry with a former aide.
He said, “He (Mr Naik) recently fell out with the aide, who has alleged the preacher is using the ‘speech business’ for transferring gains into stocks. But that in itself cannot be a criminal offence ,” said an official.