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'Gag Zakir Naik': Solicitor General tells home ministry to book preacher and IRF under anti-terror law

The Centre may soon book controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik and his Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) under terrorism related charges for preaching inciting violence among the Muslim youth.

According to CNN-News 18, in a letter written by Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar to the Ministry of Home Affairs, he said that Zakir Naik should be booked under anti-terror law and that the government should gag him. The letter further stated that Naik's ideology is divisive and against India's pluralistic, secular and social fabric.

In July, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju too had shown concern over Naik's  divisive speeches. In an interview in Delhi he said that, "Zakir Naik's speech is a matter of concern for us. Our agencies are working on this. But as a minister, I will not comment what action will be taken."

Naik, who is currently in Saudi Arabia, is under the scanner of state and central agencies for allegedly making incendiary speeches. But he rejected charges that his sermons inspired terror activity, claiming that he never encouraged anyone to kill innocent people.

 Gag Zakir Naik: Solicitor General tells home ministry to book preacher and IRF under anti-terror law

A file photo of Zakir Naik. Reuters

Soon after the cafe attack in Dhaka, he faced a lot of heat, because the attackers claimed to have been inspired by his speeches. Naik condemned all terror attacks and dubbed himself as "a messenger of peace".

In a conference with reporters, he condemned the Indian media and alleged that they had doctored his statements. "Indian media doctored my statements," Naik said in the interview. "Our channel is promoting peace...the present government (of India) has not called me so far," he said.

The controversial Islamic orator and founder of Mumbai-based IRF is banned in the UK and Canada for his 'hate speech' aimed at other religions. He is among 16 banned Islamic scholars in Malaysia.

He is known in Bangladesh through his Peace TV, although his preaching often demean other religions and even other Muslim sects.

With inputs from PTI

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Updated Date: Aug 30, 2016 18:53:17 IST