FCRA case against Zakir Naik’s NGO closed
The Mumbai Police has closed its probe into suspicions of cheating or duping of funds by the Islamic Research Foundation (IRF), the NGO run by controversial Islamic scholar Dr Zakir Naik, due to no complaint.
“For us to probe the irregularities, we require a complaint. In the IRF case, the Rs 60 crore donation which has been found to be suspicious, no one has come forward to lodge a complaint that they have been cheated or the money was fraudulently obtained by the IRF. In the absence of a complainant, we have closed the case,” a senior official from the State Home Department told The Indian Express.
A probe was ordered by the Maharashtra Government after reports appeared of two terrorists in the July Dhaka bombings being inspired by Naik.
In August, the Mumbai Police submitted a report prepared by its Special Branch (SB), the intelligence wing of the Mumbai Police indicting Naik for making ‘pro-terror’ speeches and ‘influencing vulnerable minds’ to join terror organisations.
The report also listed the finances of IRF and other companies relating to Naik while suggesting that central and state agencies probe the matter further.
Based on findings by various central and state agencies, the Home Department earlier this month launched the process of cancelling its registration under the Foreign Contribution Regulations Act (FCRA) by issuing a show cause notice to the NGO.
Sources said the government is also in the process of declaring IRF as an unlawful association under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and an approval from the Union Cabinet is now being awaited.
The probe revealed that close to Rs 60 crore was allegedly deposited from countries in the Middle East into the account of a relative of Zakir Naik, from where it was then allegedly transferred to Naik’s wife, children and other relatives.