The Narendra Modi government has barred IRF Educational Trust, promoted by controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik, from receiving foreign funds without prior nod from the central government.
A gazette notification issued today by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) states that on the basis of records available and reports received from intelligence agencies, it has been found that the IRF Education Trust has violated various provisions of the Foreign Contribution Regulations Act (FCRA) 2010.
"Now, therefore, the central government in exercise of powers conferred by sub-section (3) of section 11 of the FCRA 2010, hereby specifies that the IRF Education Trust shall obtain prior permission of the central government on each occasion before accepting any foreign contribution in accordance with the provisions of section 12 of the Act and rules made there under," the notification said.
The government’s move comes after different investigations reportedly found Naik to be "involved" in utilising funds meant for his NGOs for alleged radicalisation of youths and "inspiring" them into terror activities.
Government is also reported to be in the process of cancelling the FCRA registration of Islamic Research Foundation, another NGO promoted Zakir Naik, and a final show cause notice to the organisation has already been issued.
Interestingly, the IRF's registration under the FCRA was renewed in September inadvertently despite multiple probes against Naik, leading to suspension of a Joint Secretary and four other officials in the Home Ministry.
Government is also planning to declare IRF as an unlawful association under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act and a nod from the Union Cabinet is awaited for it.
According to a draft note, which is based on the inputs from Maharashtra Police, Naik, who heads the IRF and IRF Educational Trust, has allegedly made many provocative speeches and engaged in terror propaganda.
Maharashtra Police has also registered criminal cases against Naik for his alleged involvement in radicalisation of youths and luring them into terror activities, a source said.
Naik also transferred IRF's foreign funds to Peace TV for making "objectionable" programmes. Most of the programmes, which were made in India, contained alleged hate speeches of Naik, who had reportedly "urged all Muslims to be terrorists" through Peace TV, sources have claimed.
Naik came under the scanner of the security agencies after Bangladeshi newspaper 'Daily Star' reported that one of the perpetrators of the July 1 terror attack in Dhaka, Rohan Imtiaz, ran propaganda on Facebook last year quoting Naik.
The Islamic orator 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 had been popular in Bangladesh through his Peace TV, although his preachings often allegedly demean other religions and even other Muslim sects. The Mumbai-based preacher is currently abroad and has not returned to India ever since the controversy erupted.