The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Saturday carried out searches at 10 places in a case registered against controversial preacher Zakir Naik's Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) in Mumbai.
The searches began on Saturday morning with the help of local police after a case was registered by the NIA's Mumbai branch last night under 153-A of IPC (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion...and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony) and various sections of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
NIA and Police teams at Zakir Naik's IRF office in Mumbai pic.twitter.com/rtI996aUpP
— ANI (@ANI_news) November 19, 2016
On Friday, Mumbai Police handed over a copy of the central notification banning IRF for five years to the office-bearers of the city-based NGO.
The Union cabinet had approved a proposal to outlaw the IRF on Tuesday for its alleged terror activities.
In a gazette notification, the home ministry had said the IRF and its members, particularly, the founder and its president Zakir Naik, has been encouraging and aiding its followers to promote or attempt to promote, on grounds of religion, disharmony or feelings of enmity, hatred or ill-will between different religious communities.
IRF came on radar of investigative agencies after one of the terrorists in Dhaka attack had allegedly posted on social media that they had been inspired by Naik's speeches.
Youths from Malavani in western suburbs who had left their home to join Islamic State earlier this year were also allegedly inspired by the preaching of the televangelist.
Police had arrested some members of IRF for allegedly motivating and radicalising group youths from Kasargod in Kerala to join the Islamic State.
The speeches of Naik, who is currently out of the country apparently to evade arrest, are banned in the UK and Canada as well as in Malaysia.
Naik also transferred IRF's foreign funds to Peace TV for making "objectionable" programmes. Most of the programmes, which were made in India, contained alleged hate speeches of Naik, who had reportedly "urged all Muslims to be terrorists" through Peace TV.
An educational trust run by Naik has already been prevented from receiving foreign funds and agencies are looking into their activities.
With inputs from PTI