The government is planning to book controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik under the stringent anti-terror law for inciting violence among the Muslim youth as the legal opinion sought by the Union Home Ministry has recommended action against him and his NGO, Islamic Research Foundation (IRF).
Sources said the Home Ministry had sought a legal opinion on the possible action to be taken against Naik for his controversial activities, including allegedly delivering hate speech.
The legal opinion is understood to have conveyed to the Home Ministry that Naik’s statements in different forums allegedly promoted enmity and hatred between religious groups and inspired and incited terrorists.
A case of could be registered against Naik under anti-terror laws for allegedly delivering hate speech on different occasions, sources said quoting the legal opinion.
The legal opinion suggested that there is a “conscious intention” on Naik’s part towards spreading enmity among religious groups.
Apart from Naik, cases should be registered against his NGO IRF, which is allegedly funded radical activities, the legal advise said to have suggested.
Naik has come under the scanner of the security agencies after Bangladeshi newspaper ‘Daily Star’ had reported that one of the attackers of the July 1 terror strike in Dhaka, Rohan Imtiaz, ran a propaganda on Facebook last year quoting Naik.
Naik, in his lecture aired on Peace TV, an international Islamic channel, had reportedly “urged all Muslims to be terrorists”. Naik, a popular but controversial Islamic orator and founder of Mumbai-based Islamic Research Foundation, is banned in the UK and Canada for his hate speech aimed against other religions. He is among 16 banned Islamic scholars in Malaysia.
He is hugely popular in Bangladesh through his Peace TV, although his preachings often demean other religions and even other Muslim sects.
Following Dhaka terror attack, he came under the scanner of state and central agencies that have investigated him if he had inspired terror activities. He rejected charges and claimed that he never encouraged anyone to kill innocent people.