Report submitted to state govt prima facie indicts Zakir Naik for ‘anti-national’ and ‘unlawful activities’
Mumbai : The Mumbai police has indicted controversial preacher Zakir Naik for “anti-national” and “unlawful activities” in its report submitted to the state home department. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said that prima facie terror links of Zakir Naik have been established in the report submitted by Mumbai police commissioner Datta Padsalgikar.
The 72-page report indicts preacher Naik and his NGO Islamic Research Foundation (IRF). “Many unlawful activities by Naik and his IRF have been pointed out in the report. Some of these things are anti-national,” Fadnavis said.
The CM indicated that the government will consider seeking Naik’s extradition from Saudi Arabia where he is reported to be currently staying, if he does not voluntarily return to India. He indicated that the report contains a “mention of terror organizations, statements given by his terror-related contacts in Hyderabad, statements of youth returned from the ISIS camp and other evidence revealing Naik’s links with the Indian Mujahidin, etc., have come forward in the report,”.
The state government is assessing the report and as several things mentioned in the report pertain to the union government, the report is also being sent to the Ministry of Home Affairs, he added.
The Mumbai police was asked to probe Naik’s past speeches available online, to see if any of them could have inspired youths to join terrorist organisations, amid reports that his preachings inspired some of those involved in Dhaka terror strike. The city police was also conducting a joint inquiry into the functioning of Naik’s Islamic Research Foundation (IRF), to scrutinise the finances it has received from various parts of the world.
“We will scrutinize the evidence submitted in the report. After due consultation with the Centre we will decide on the course of action against Naik,” Fadnavis said. “The issue deals with internal security and also comes under the purview of the Centre. Ministry of Home Affairs would be consulted over it,” he added.
The Union Home Ministry is investigating the foreign funding angle of IRF. Based on specific complaints, the Economic Offences Wing is investigating the foreign funding angle of IRF.
Cases have already been filed against Naik for his controversial remarks against Hindu deities. A case was filed in Kurla police station in 2013 under Section 295(a) (Deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs), 153(a) (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion), 505(2) (Statements creating or promoting enmity, hatred or ill-will between classes), of IPC and 66 (a) of IT act 2000 (sending of offensive messages through a computer or other communication devices).
Besides cases registered in Vengurla and Sawantwadi, cases have been also filed against Naik outside Maharashtra.
Naik has filed an application in Supreme Court demanding all these cases be investigated by one agency.
Naik had a lengthy interaction with Indian media via Skype from Saudi Arabia on July 15, rubbishing the charge that his sermons had inspired terror activity, including the Dhaka attack.
He has ruled out returning to India this year and claimed his remarks were “blown out of context” and that he has never inspired any terror activity.
Meanwhile, the city police on Saturday registered a case against an IRF employee and three others including two arrested earlier by Kerala police in connection with alleged ISIS recruitment case in the southern state. They have been booked under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and IPC section 120-B (criminal conspiracy).
However, the IRF denied media speculation on the report, submitted by Police Commissioner D Padsalgikar to the state government.
“IRF wants to reiterate that the allegations are false and baseless. Zakir Naik firmly believes in promoting peace and harmony and has been doing that for decades,” an IRF spokesperson said on Tuesday evening.
An IRF spokesman said it has not received any notice from the MHA or any governmental agency and would not comment on anything now, and stressed that the outfit is a research body promoting greater awareness of Islam and its tenets. Naik is an expert in comparative religions, conducting talks on these topics around the world, the spokesman said.
The report submitted by Mumbai Police Commissioner, Datta Padsalgikar, makes the following observations on the “overall effect of Dr. Zakir Naik’s preaching and statement is as follows:
- CREATING PREJUDICE REGARDING OTHER RELIGIONS: Dr. Zakir Naik’s opinion about other religions is extreme. His statements are against religious harmony and peaceful coexistence.
- ISLAMIC SUPREMACY – His focus is to prove how Islam is the supreme religion. This spreads religious intolerance and extremism.
- PROMOTION OF EXTREMISM: While noting that killing of innocent people is against Islam, Dr. Zakir Naik justifies violence in the name of Jihad. It will not be wrong to say that Muslim youth are being attracted towards Dr. Zakir Naik’s ideology.
- Dr. Zakir Naik’s statements are against religious tolerance. Hence, prima facie it is certain that his speeches should be banned in Maharashtra.
- Dr. Zakir Naik is banned in United Kingdom for the protection of their people, social security and National security due to his speeches. It is a precedent of banning his speeches by a democratic country.
- Prima facie Dr. Zakir Naik’s comments justify terrorists and terrorist activities of some organizations. We are seeking opinion from Department of Law and Justice whether the crime falls under section of 13(1), (B) and Section 39(1), (B) (III) Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), 1967.”