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Zakir Naik skips father’s funeral, fearing arrest

Personnel from the city crime branch, National Investigation Agency and local police station were reportedly deployed at the cemetery observing mourners

Controversial radical preacher Dr Zakir Naik, who is currently in Malaysia, did not turn up for his father’s funeral in Mumbai, fearing arrest. Zakir Naik’s father, Dr Abdul Kareem Naik (88), passed away in a city hospital early on Sunday.

While there is no fresh FIR against Naik, the Centre is preparing to declare his NGO Islamic Research Foundation an “unlawful organisation” under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. Dr Abdul Kareem’s funeral was attended by around 1,500 people, The Times of India reported. He was a physician and educationist and died of a cardiac arrest at Mazgaon’s Prince Aly Khan Hospital.

Personnel from the city crime branch, National Investigation Agency and local police station were reportedly deployed at the cemetery observing mourners.

Dr Abdul Kareem is survived by two sons, Mohammed and Zakir and three daughters.

“Dr Abdul Kareem Naik’s life cannot be described in a few words. He was popular among Hindus and Muslims. He was the President of Bombay Psychiatric Society. He worked hard for educational institutions like Anjuman-e-Islam and Anjuman-e-Khairul Islam. In the last couple of days, he suffered from low blood pressure and organ failure,” Manzoor Shaikh, administrative manager of IRF, told TOI.

On why Zakir could not come to attend the funeral, Shaikh said, “It happened all of a sudden and therefore he could not come.”

He said he was unaware about Zakir’s return to Mumbai. Zakir Naik extended his stay abroad following allegations that some of the men involved in the July 1 terror attack in Dhaka drew inspiration from his speeches.

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