NIA on Saturday carried out searches at 10 premises of the banned Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) in Mumbai after registering a case against its founder Zakir Naik and others under an anti-terror law.
The searches began this morning with the help of local police after a case was registered by the NIA’s Mumbai branch last night under 153-A of IPC (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion…and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony) and various sections of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
The action by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) came barely a few days after the Union Cabinet declared IRF as a banned organisation under UAPA.
IRF came under the scanner of various security agencies after one of the terrorists involved in the Dhaka cafe attack had allegedly posted on social media that they had been inspired by Naik’s speeches.
Some of the youths from Mumbai suburbs, who had left their home to join Islamic State earlier this year, were also allegedly inspired by the preacher.
The speeches of Naik, who is currently out of the country apparently to evade arrest, are banned in the UK and Canada as well as in Malaysia.
The Home Ministry found the NGO was allegedly having dubious links with Peace TV, an international Islamic channel, accused of propagating terrorism.
According to the Home Ministry, Naik, who heads the IRF, has allegedly made many provocative speeches and engaged in 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.
Naik also transferred IRF’s foreign funds to Peace TV for making “objectionable” programmes. Most of the programmes, which were made in India, contained alleged hate speeches of Naik, who had reportedly “urged all Muslims to be terrorists” through Peace TV.
An educational trust run by Naik has already been prevented from receiving foreign funds and agencies are looking into their activities.
(With inputs from PTI)