India bans Zakir Naik’s NGO for 5 years, terms “unlawful”
The Government of India on Tuesday banned the NGO floated by controversial Islamic scholar and televangelist Dr Zakir Naik for five years with immediate effect.
Union Cabinet has decided to declare Zakir Naik’s Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) an outlawed organisation under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).
The IRF’s registration under the FCRA was renewed in September inadvertently despite multiple probes against Naik, which then lead to suspension of a Joint Secretary and four other officials in the Home Ministry.
Meanwhile, the Mumbai Police had recenlty closed its probe into suspicions of cheating or duping of funds by the IRF 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,” a senior official from the State Home Departmentsaid earlier.
Naik came under the scanner of the security agencies after Bangladeshi newspaper ‘Daily Star’ reported that one of the perpetrators of the July 1 terror attack in Dhaka, Rohan Imtiaz, ran propaganda on Facebook last year quoting Naik.
Recently, Zakir Naik’s IRF Educational Trust had put under prior permission category, thus preventing it from receiving foreign funds without getting nod from the central government.
The decision came after different investigations reportedly found Naik to be “involved” in utilising funds meant for his NGOs for alleged radicalisation of youths and “inspiring” them into terror activities, official sources said told media agency.