The National Investigation Agency (NIA) today filed an FIR against controversial preacher Zakir Naik and also raided some of his Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) offices in Mumbai. Earlier this week, the Centre had approved a proposal to ban the IRF for its alleged terror activities. The home ministry in a notice, had said that the IRF and its members, particularly Zakir Naik were encouraging its followers to promote or attempt to promote disharmony hatred or ill-will between different religious communities.
Reacting to the development, his lawyer Mobin Solkar said that FIR against Zakir Naik or IRF was illegal, as one FIR for same offence was lodged against him in 2012.
The foundation had come on notice of probe agencies after one of the terrorists in Dhaka attack few months back had posted on a social media site that they had been inspired by Naik’s speeches. Some youths from western suburbs who had left their home to join the terror group Islamic State earlier this year were also allegedly inspired by Zakir Naik’s speeches.
NIA and Police teams at Zakir Naik’s IRF office in Mumbai pic.twitter.com/SscVRvi1je
— ANI (@ANI_news) November 19, 2016
Police had arrested some members of IRF for allegedly radicalising group youths from Kasargod in Kerala to join Islamic states. Zakir Naik is in Saudi Arabia currently and has refused to return to to country. The Islamic Research Foundation was earlier restricted from receiving any foreign funds without any explicit permission from the Centre.
In September , he clarification on the charges levelled against him in an open letter and said that allegations on him were an attack on Muslims of the country and against “peace, democracy and justice”. He is already banned in Canada and in the UK for his hate speeches against other religions.