Days after National Investigation Agency (NIA) raided 10 locations of controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik’s Islamic Research Foundation, the agency has blocked Naik’s websites which were used for publishing controversial speeches and statements.
The NIA may also suspend the videos on Facebook and YouTube with the US as the servers are located there. Earlier, the authorities blocked the IRF for fives years under the provisions of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).
Times of India reported that NIA will also summon Naik for questioning. Sources confirmed that when he appears for questioning he is most likely will be arrested. NIA will also issue a non-bailable warrant against the controversial televangelist. If Naik doesn’t cooperate then the agency likely to issue a red corner notice. If this will be issued then Saudi Arabia, where Naik is allegedly located will have to hand over Naik to Indian authorities.
A senior NIA official said, “We have to question Zakir Naik for investigation purposes. A summon will be issued against him soon, ordering him to produce himself before the NIA.” he further said, “If he (Naik) fails to do so, we will move the court to declare him a proclaimed offender and that will allow us to attach his properties in Mumbai and elsewhere.”
NIA raided for nearly 12 hours and seized mobile phones, laptops and Rs. 12 lakh in cash from Naik’s Mumbai properties. The authorities also searched the residences of IRF and Peace TV office bearers.
NIA also sealed an IRF account in the Development Credit Bank Ltd’s Dongri Branch. IRF pays salaries from the account to the school staffers and manages other expenses. An NIA official stated that the authorities scrutinized all the computer data, CDs, hard disks from all the IRF offices. Email and telephonic conversations will be checked.
Naik and IRF came under scanner after the Dhaka cafe attack in July which killed 20 people. Bangladesh government alleged that he inspired youths by spreading communal disharmony through his speech.
Naik did not come to India even after his father Dr Abdul Kareem Naik’s death on 30th October. His counsel Mubin Solkar said that they haven’t received the FIR copy yet. “We will be able to comment on it only after we receive the copy.”
IRF rejected all the allegations
IRF on Sunday alleged that the FIR filed against Zakir Naik and the NGO was illegal and claimed all the allegations were baseless.
An IRF member said that the FIR was illegal as in 2012, another FIR had been registered for the same crime “regarding inflammatory speeches and offending different religious groups.” But after investigation, the case had been closed. “Also, it holds little meaning, because the FIR was registered after the ban on IRF.”
The organization also rejected the allegation that they had nothing to do with the Dhaka attack and Naik was also willing to cooperate unconditionally in the investigation.