Zakir Naik is all over the news after two of the militants in the Dhaka attacks were found to have been influenced by him. The Islamic preacher has now come under the scanner of the Indian government.
After the Bangladesh government requested New Delhi to examine the content of his sermons, the government is all set to take strict action against those airing his channel Peace TV, according to a report by NDTV.
According to the NDTV report, the I&B ministry has taken cognisance of the fact that the Mumbai-based preacher's channel, which is aired from Dubai, is available at many places in India through cable operators. This is despite Peace TV not having the licence to broadcast its programmes in India.
The report further adds that authorities have asked his YouTube videos to be removed at the earliest. The latest fiasco has forced the government to keep a check over unauthorised broadcasts of channels across the country.
Meanwhile, there seems to be more trouble for the televangelist, as his institution, Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) has now come under the scanner of the Home Ministry for alleged misuse of foreign funds to finance radical activities.
A senior Home Ministry official said an investigation has been ordered into the activities of IRF, which was registered under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA).
The Home Ministry probe will cover the allegations that foreign funding to IRF was used in political activities and allegations that the NGO's funds were used to induce people towards Islam and "attracting" youths towards terror, the official said.
All such activities are contrary to the FCRA provisions and any violation invites punitive action. IRF's source of foreign funding will also be examined thoroughly by the Home Ministry, the official added.
In Jammu and Kashmir, scores of Kashmiris protested against the government's decision to probe Zakir Naik's sermons for allegedly inciting those involved in the Dhaka attacks. A Srinagar-based group, Islamic Fraternity, came out in the support of the Islamic preacher on Friday, Hindustan Times reported.
“One of the major allegation that’s coming up against Naik is that he has said ‘urged all Muslims to be terrorists’. No one is saying the context in which he said that. He has said that Muslims should be ‘terrorists’ against anti-social, bad elements of the society, not innocent people,” said Muhammad Aamir, president of the Islamic Fraternity, who was quoted by Hindustan Times in their report.
(With inputs from PTI)