National Investigation Agency (NIA) filed a chargesheet today against Islamic preacher Zakir Naik under the charges of allegedly inciting youths to take up terror activities and hate speech. In a 65-page chargesheet, the NIA has declared Naik as an absconder. NIA has booked the preacher under the sections 295 (a), 298 and 505 (b) of the Indian Penal Code, as per ANI.
On July 1, 2016, Naik fled from India after terrorists in neighbouring Bangladesh claimed that they were inspired by his speeches on waging a ‘jihad’ (holy war). According to the ‘Middle East Monitor’, an online news portal, Naik has already been granted citizenship by Saudi Arabia. However, there has not been any independent verification of this claim so far.
On November 18, 2016, a criminal case was registered against Naik by the NIA at its Mumbai Branch. His organisation, the Islamic Research Foundation (IRF), was declared an “unlawful association” by the government a day before the NIA registered the case. Naik is also accused of spreading hatred by his provocative speeches and funding terrorists.
Earlier, the external affairs ministry had revoked the passport of Zakir Naik, the controversial Islamic preacher wanted in connection with alleged terror-funding and money laundering cases. “The Mumbai Regional Passport Office has approved the NIA’s request to revoke Zakir Naik’s passport,” a spokesperson for the anti-terror agency had said. However, Naik, a medical doctor-turned preacher, during his interactions with the Indian media from abroad has repeatedly denied all charges.