Mumbai Police submits Zakir Naik report, all set to book preacher under UAPA

Mumbai: The Mumbai Police has recommended that the state book Islamic preacher Zakir Naik under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and ban his Islamic Research Foundation (IRF). In a 72-page report on the investigation conducted into Naik's alleged terror links submitted to the home department, the Mumbai Police alleged that Naik had used IRF for 'unlawful activities'.

The Mumbai police is all set to book Naik under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. Mumbai police commissioner Dattatray Padsalgikar submitted the 72-page report to Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Monday. The report alleged that Naik justified terror acts like suicide bombing and added that some of those arrested for terror activities have said that they used to listen to Naik's speeches.

 Mumbai Police submits Zakir Naik report, all set to book preacher under UAPA

File image of Zakir Naik. Screengrab from YouTube

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Monday issued an inspection notice to IRF for alleged violations of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA), a senior Mumbai Police official told Firstpost. The notice is the first step towards suspending or revoking the FCRA registration of any NGO or organisation, he added.

On 1 August, Firstpost had reported that the Mumbai Police was a single link away from closing in on the preacher.

The 72-page report alleged that through IRF and Peace TV, Naik gave a platform to 'terrorist minds' for propagating their ideology. It listed the names of Islamic speakers who have condoned terror and were banned in other countries, but arrived in India through IRF and made speeches on Peace TV.

The report also alleged that the IRF misused the status of an educational trust to convert people. According to a senior official, the report alleged that Naik used foreign funds to convert people in India by using these funds as inducements. Naik's IRF, according to the report, was in touch with a huge network of 'marriage agents' who used to bring people from other states into Maharashtra to be converted. The police report alleged that Naik's 'inspiration' Ahmed Deedat, a Surat-based South African preacher, had kept close ties with Osama bin Laden, who was involved in the 11 September, 2001 attacks.

Talking to mediapersons at Mantralaya, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said, "In the probe, several new facts have come to light. Naik's activities are illegal. Statements made by a section of youths, who had links with the Islamic State and Indian Mujahideen, also point to the unlawful activities of IRF. We will take the strongest possible action in consultation with the law and judiciary department and MHA."

"From the documents gathered by the Mumbai Police and statements made by Naik about different religious, it is clear that there is a question mark over activities by him and IRF activities," Fadnavis added. He said that his government will seek the opinion of the law and judiciary department and the MHA before initiating action.

Padsalgikar has elaborated on the unlawful activities in his detailed report but has not recommended action, leaving it to the law and judiciary department and home department to decide. When Firstpost contacted Padsalgikar, he said, "I have submitted the report to the chief minister, that’s all." He refused to comment on when the Mumbai Police will begin to take action against Naik.

"There are many indictments in the report. Many unlawful activities have been pointed out pertaining to the organisation of which Naik is the leader. The government is studying the report and will share the report with the MHA. There are certain activities attributed to Naik, as well. In consultation with the MHA, we will decide on the further course of action," he added

The Mumbai Police also attached a report of the Kerala Police that has booked IRF men for converting people and pushing them towards the Islamic State. The Mumbai Police has filed a case against two suspected Islamic State sympathisers Arshid Qureshi and Rizwan Khan — alleged to be close to Naik. The duo was picked up in Mumbai last month in a joint operation by the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) and the Kerala Police.

To bolster its case, the government has compiled a list of FIRs registered against Naik — especially one filed in 2005 and another in 2012. The law ministry's proposal for action against Naik is based on these FIRs, sources said.

The Mumbai Police will be registering an offence against both Naik and IRF within a week, added a senior official.

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Updated Date: Aug 10, 2016 08:27:43 IST