The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Monday issued fresh notice to televangelist Zakir Naik to appear before it in a case where he stands accused of promoting enmity between groups on religious and racial grounds. According to The Indian Express, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) attached assets worth over Rs 18 crore belonging to his NGO Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) and other entities.
Naik has been summoned after failing to appear in person. In a Hindustan Times report, an ED officer is quoted as saying: "The investigations revealed that the proceeds of crime generated through Naik’s provocative speeches have been either routed, transferred or utilised for the purpose of creating communal disharmony and for inciting Muslim youths and terrorists."
Through the notice, the agency has asked the 51-year-old Islamic preacher to appear at NIA headquarters in the national capital on 30 March.
The agency had earlier this month issued the first notice to Naik, asking him to appear before it on March 14, which the self-exiled preacher avoided.
An NIA official said that the notice was served at Naik's Mumbai-based Jasmine Apartments in Mazgaon area.
Naik first shot into the limelight when his name cropped up during the investigations into the terror strike at an upscale restaurant in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on July 1. One of the terrorists involved in that attack allegedly claimed to have been inspired by Naik's speeches.
The NIA later filed cases against Naik under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for allegedly promoting enmity between groups on religious and racial grounds, and raided over a dozen offices, residential premises, his Peace TV offices and other locations, besides freezing a bank account of his NGO.
Naik, who is believed to be staying in Saudi Arabia to evade arrest after his activities came under scanner, is the founding trustee of the Islamic Research Foundation (IRF), IRF Educational Trust and the Islamic Dimensions Trust.
Besides, Naik has close connections with Peace TV channel, Harmony Media Pvt Ltd, Longlast Constructions Pvt Ltd, Right Property Solutions Pvt Ltd, Galaxy Multichannel Network Pvt Ltd, Majestic Perfumes Pvt. Ltd., and Alpha Lubricants Pvt. Ltd.
With inputs from IANS
Updated Date: Mar 21, 2017 10:59 AM