On Monday (21 November), National Investigation Agency (NIA) carried out searches, for the third successive time, at 17 premises of controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik, his non-governmental organisation (NGO) and a few of his associates. The NIA also blocked the website of Naik’s NGO, Islamic Research Foundation (IRF), which was allegedly promoting Naik’s “hate speeches”.
The agency is also prepared to summon Naik, who has been residing abroad after his name cropped up in the aftermath of the Dhaka terror attack on 1 July 2016. One of the perpetrators of the attack had posted on social media that they had been inspired by Naik. An NIA spokesperson told PTI.
As part of investigation, all actions that need to be taken against a proscribed organisation, including banning of its online activities, are being undertaken.
The Union government banned the IRF last week and declared it as a terrorist organisation under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) for five years. If Naik does not respond to the NIA summon, the agency will issue a red corner notice through Interpol.
Naik and many unnamed IRF officials have been booked under section 153-A of IPC, plus various sections of UAPA. The agency plans to scrutinise cases relating to 50 individuals allegedly drawn to extremism after listening to Naik’s speeches.
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