Mumbai: Controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik, who is under scanner after reports that his sermons inspired two of the seven young terrorists who carried out the Dhaka massacre on July 1, seemed to have been followed by four other youths from Kalyan who had fleed away to join the ISIS.
According to a report in The Times of India, Majeed told the NIA that he was deeply influenced with Naik’s preaching about religion. While reading Naik’s lectures, he came to know about the Islamic State and their plan to establish a caliphate in Iraq and Syria.
It is worth a mention that four Kalyan youths – Areeb Majeed, Fahad Shaikh and Amaan Tandel fled Mumbai to join Islamic State. Three of them belong to affluent families and were studying engineering. Only the fourth boy – Saheem Tanki – had failed HSC.
The report also stated that Majeed, who in under NIA custody after his return from IS, started reading about IS on social media and later got in touch with a woman named Tahirah Bhatt, who explained him how to join the terror group.
He also told that he then spoke to people from Turkey, Australia, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and the US, who started persuading him to join the terror group and fight for Jihad.
Majeed then indoctrinated Shaikh, Tanki and Tandel and left for Iraq in May 2015. Majeed is currently in jail, Tanki is believed to have died during war and Shaikh had contacted his family in Mumbai few months back. However, there is no information about Tandel.
Naiks’ lectures, video under scanner
Meanwhile, Naiks’ lectures and video are being scanned by the Centre and state governments.
It may be recalled that various books, speeches and photographs of the controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik were recovered from the Dar-ul-Qitab-Sunna library, which is situated near Al-Hira Public School in the Karimganj area of Darbhanga.
The library was frequently visited by Yasir Bhatkal, founder-member of the Indian Mujahideen, who was arrested by NIA in 2012.
“During the visit, Bhatkal confessed other IM members like Kafeel Akhtar alias Chota Kafeel and Tahseen alias Monu used to visit the library,” The Times of India quoted a NIA official as saying.
“They used to provoke religious feelings for anti-national activities and indoctrinated many youth citing atrocities like Babri Masjid and the Gujarat riots. The library was stuffed with books and hard copies of Zakir's speeches,” he further added.
Upswing in donation for Naik’s foundation
Naik seems to be getting benefited from the controversies that rose from his “hate speech” during the past few days.
According to an India Today report, the bank accounts of Naik’s Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) in Development Credit Bank, Mumbai have received huge donations in the past few days.
Details of four bank accounts have been uploaded on IRF website so that contributors can donate in the form of cheque, demand draft, money order or bank transfer. Out of the four, two accounts (A/C No. 0012020000**** and A/C No. 0012020000****) are for Indian contributors while the other two (A/C No. 0012190001**** and A/c No. 001202000****) are for NRIs and foreign nationals.
While Thanawalla, branch manager at Dongri office, confirmed that all four IRF accounts are with them, she refused to reveal the amount lying in them.
“We cannot disclose specific personal details of bank customers to outsiders unless, instructed by top officials to do so,” Thanawalla told India Today.
When asked about the rising funds in the IRF accounts, she said, “It's the month of Ramadan and during EID, Muslim community give Zakat(donation) to such trusts.”
While Mumbai police has initiated a probe in the matter, they are yet to seek account details from DCB.
“DCB Bank cannot share any details of any customer with anyone, unless official agencies ask the bank to do so. Then the bank is duty bound to share the information of any customer,” said a spokesperson of the DCB Bank.