The Indian Home Ministry has initiated the process of canceling the FCRA registration of Islamic Research Foundation (IRF), an NGO established by controversial religious preacher Zakir Naik. Sources from the Ministry of Home Affairs said that the NGO will soon be banned from receiving foreign funds by issuing a final show cause notice.
Also, the Home Ministry has recognized another NGO ‘IRF Educational Trust promoted by Zakir Naik, under prior permission category. This means the NGO must obtain the permission of the Home Ministry before accepting any foreign donations.
The decision from the Union Government came after various investigations found that Zakir Naik has illegally transferred the funds meant for NGOs to radicalize and inspire youths into terror activities. Interestingly, despite a number of investigations active against the controversial religious preacher, the Home Ministry had in September approved the renewal of IRF’s registration leading to the suspension of four officials and a Joint secretary in the Central government.
The Home ministry is also awaiting a nod from the Union cabinet to declare IRF as an unlawful association, as per the Prevention of unlawful activities Act. The draft note to be tabled during the Cabinet meet contains the report from Maharastra Police which alleged Zakir Naik of making provocative speeches and involving in terror propaganda.
The Maharashtra Police have also registered criminal cases against Zakir Naik for his involvement in the radicalization of youths and luring them to take up terror activities. Sources said that sections related to Economic offenses will also be applied on the controversial religious preacher for transferring IRF’s funds to Peace TV, which is illegal according to the Indian laws.
Peace TV, also owned by Zakir Naik is based in Dubai and operated from Mumbai in India. Investigations have found that Zakir’s speeches in the channel were objectionable and often urged all the Muslims to be terrorists.
The name of the religious leader was first highlighted when a Bangladeshi newspaper reported that one of the suspects of the terror attack in Dhaka on July 1, Rohan Imtiaz, ran propaganda on social networking site facebook quoting the religious preacher based in Mumbai. Peace TV is also streamed live in Bangladesh along with 200 other countries.
As of now, the Islamic orator has been banned in Bangladesh, UK, Canada and India for his hate speech disrespecting other religions and often being provocative. The Mumbai-based preacher has never returned to India since the controversy against him erupted.