NIA books Zakir Naik, searches 12 Islamic Research Foundation sites

The NIA on Friday reportedly filed an FIR against Naik for allegedly involving in unlawful activities and inciting hatred among religious communities through speeches.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai | Updated: November 20, 2016 9:36 am
NIA raided 12 premises linked to IRF Saturday. (Express Photo by Ganesh Shirsekar) NIA raided 12 premises linked to IRF Saturday. (Express Photo by Ganesh Shirsekar)

The National Investigation Agency (NIA), which carried out searches at 12 locations linked to controversial televangelist Zakir Naik’s Islamic Research Foundation (IRF), had initially planned to search the Islamic International School (IIS) run under IRF Educational Trust. However, at the eleventh hour, the NIA decided against searching the school owing to an intercepted call. The central counter terrorism agency searched 12 locations in Mumbai and seized Rs 12 lakhs in cash. The NIA also registered a case against Zakir Naik.

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“Initially we were planning to search the Islamic International School (IIS), run under IRF Educational Trust. However, the plan was altered at the last minute after we intercepted a phone call wherein the caller and receiver were discussing that in the event of raid by NIA, schoolchildren from IIS should be used as ‘bait’ to create a law and order situation. This was to put the agency in a tight spot and even make their plan backfire. Therefore, we altered the plan and decided not to search the premises,” a senior official privy to details told The Indian Express.

The Centre had days ago declared IRF as unlawful and banned it under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).

Sections 10 (Penalty for being member of an unlawful association), 13 (Punishment for unlawful activities), 18 (Punishment for conspiracy) of UAPA and Section 153A (promoting enmity) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) have been invoked against Naik and others. “While Zakir has been named in the FIR , those found affiliated to the now banned outfit will be booked in the case,” said an official explaining ‘others’ named in the FIR.

While IRF spokesperson confirmed that the school wasn’t searched by NIA, he expressed displeasure over freezing of its bank accounts. According to IRF authorities, about seven offices in Mumbai were inspected by the NIA, which included a women’s wing, Global Education office, IRF headquarters, Islamic Books and Harmony office that produces literature on Islam.

“We were assured that students would face no problem, then why have bank accounts been frozen,” said Arif Malik, spokesperson for IRF. The school’s over 200 students are currently giving their half yearly exams. The three-storey air conditioned school located in Mazgaon, South Mumbai, imparts education to students of sixth to tenth class. Another school of IIS is based in Dongri for junior classes.

Sources said “incriminating documents relating to various activities including financial transactions and property details of Naik and IRF have been recovered. Nine-teams which conducted the searches at twelve premises also seized electronic storage device. The NIA reportedly went through accounts and stored literature at these offices in a daylong raid that began before 6 am on Saturday and continued until night. No books or hard copy of research material was seized.

Sources added that data running into several terabytes have been seized from the office of Harmony Media. “Harmony Media was the production company set up by Naik that used to supply content to Peace TV on which many of the controversial speeches of Naik were aired. We have recovered several terabytes of data from its office and this would be central to our probe,” the official added.

Harmony Media, a video and software production company, was incorporated in 2005. Zakir Naik was the managing director from May 8, 2006 till he resigned on March 13, 2013. His wife was appointed on the board on May 8, 2006, and resigned on March 15, 2013. Zakir Naik and his wife, Farhat Zakir Naik, were promoters-cum-directors of the two real estate companies — Longlast Construction and Right Property Solutions — till March 2013. Both these companies did not report any income in the seven-year period between FY’09 and FY’15, although one reported a surge in borrowings.

“The Mumbai Police’s probe had revealed that over Rs 50- Rs 60 crore had been transferred from middle eastern countries to a local account belonging to one of the relatives of Naik. The funds were subsequently transferred to the accounts of Naik’s wife, his children and even some of his close relatives. Our probe will focus on sources of these funds to find out if there was any vested interest by any outfit to fund Naik’s ‘pro-terror’ rhetoric,” revealed another official.

While the NIA is separately probing the case of alleged radicalisation of 21 youth from Kerala who fled the country earlier this year to join globally banned outfit Islamic State (IS) or Daesh (as it’s now referred by security agencies) by members of IRF namely its Guest Manager Arshi Quershi and Rizwan Khan who was a volunteer with Al-Birr Foundation (suspected to have links with IRF), sources add that the role of senior office-bearers and close associates of the outfit will also be probed. “While Qureshi’s role will be probed in detail in the Kerala case, since he was an office-bearer of IRF, we will investigate how the now banned outfit radicalised young minds and also if this was the larger brief given to the other IRF employees and if that was the case how were they pursuing it,” added the official.

Meanwhile, over 50 cops manned the narrow, cluttered streets which housed these offices. Most offices are tiny rooms meant for administrative purposes. The IRF has 21 employees on its payroll. “Since Saturday was a holiday, not all employees were present. Few were called by Mumbai police to open locked cupboards,” an official from IRF said.

“The offices had been sealed by Mumbai police on Friday. None of our employees were called for questioning,” said Malik. The organisation has been banned for five years by the home ministry for objectionable content preached by scholar Zakir Naik. Naik founded IRF in 1991.

The police also raided an old madrassa for women in the City Palace Hotel, Dongri. According to the manager, the madrassa classes of IRF had shut down in the second floor’s hall sometime back and the room now remains vacant.

 

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First Published on: November 20, 2016 1:00 am
  1. B
    Bhartiya
    Nov 19, 2016 at 2:26 pm
    I have listen his some vedeo. He is misleading muslim brother by speaking in fluent english. He has used his strength nagatuvely. Most what he is speaking about try to de- respect other religion and mis feeding crowd. Aware
    Reply
    1. S
      SK
      Nov 19, 2016 at 6:33 am
      it seems that the above poster talks from both sides of the mouth!
      Reply
      1. A
        ahmad
        Nov 19, 2016 at 8:04 am
        We know bjp is above the law,they open flouted supreme court ruling in 1992 the masjid will note be touch,and the w world know who demolish(shaheed) babri masjid.
        Reply
        1. A
          Abdul Aziz
          Nov 19, 2016 at 6:54 am
          ''BJP on its agenda and plan always has Zakir naik on Target since 2014 win.. Many concocted case were prepared from his previous speeches which are more than 20 year old... BJP has once again proved their DNA ridden Muslim enmity by ban on Zakir Naik and raiding his offices.. Zakir Naik ban is politically motivated and is to appease Radical Hindu vote bank of BJP./RSS.. BJP tyying to win UP at whatever the cost...BJP got very desperate, if they lose UP in 2017 , Modi will not be PM again.. Sure Modi will not win again due to #Noteban,#Beefban,#ZakirNaik_ban, #NGO''sban,''
          Reply
          1. I
            Indian
            Nov 20, 2016 at 1:00 am
            Dr zakir naik is reincarnation of arungzeb who want to convert rest of india not with sward but smile. Why he doesn't visit Syria Afghanistan stan Iraq etc and stop all the misery Muslims facing there maybe he don't want to dirty his expensive suits or leave the comfort air-conditioned dubai villas.
            Reply
            1. C
              Citizen
              Nov 20, 2016 at 1:10 am
              Is there any law?
              Reply
              1. C
                Citizen
                Nov 20, 2016 at 1:08 am
                hahaha, which intelligence agency discloses details of "intercepted calls"!!
                Reply
                1. A
                  Aam Aadmi
                  Nov 19, 2016 at 3:44 am
                  Modi's demonetization move is the boldest move ever as said by Bill Gates. Bharat mata ki jai. Regards, BJP IT Cell propaa volunteer.
                  Reply
                  1. S
                    Sriniwasan
                    Nov 19, 2016 at 6:00 am
                    Zakir and many of the Terror spokesmen lived and thrived under the Khangrease Patronage.It required a BJP to uphold the Rule of Law and Unity in Diversity.
                    Reply
                    1. I
                      iftiindian
                      Nov 19, 2016 at 8:57 am
                      Being a Muslim is enough to be prosecuted. Since its inception NIA is making efforts to save sanghi terrorists on the other hand government Muslim scholars and their insutions.
                      Reply
                      1. I
                        Indiafirst
                        Nov 19, 2016 at 3:59 am
                        keep tab on Bank managers they may be involved in black money exchange. Ignore the opposition they only want to create unrest. Appeal to poor people this is your chance to get rich people punished. For the future of india and coming generation you must help हेल्प इंडिया आईटी नीड्स यूlt;br/gt;बैंक मेनेजर पे नज़र रखो वह कला धन एक्सचेंज कर सकते है. ओप्पोसिशन आतंक फैलाना चाहता है कोर्रुप्त जजस को निकलना है. यह ही है मौका गरीबो के पास भ्रस्टाचारी अमीरो को सबक सीखने का आपकली भावी पीढ़ी के लिए सपोर्ट kare
                        Reply
                        1. J
                          jas
                          Nov 19, 2016 at 10:23 am
                          mr bjp .you are hiding the sun by your hand and informing to the world that it is night. truth will prevail.
                          Reply
                          1. K
                            khaja
                            Nov 20, 2016 at 5:27 am
                            " schoolchildren from IIS should be used as ‘bait’ to create a law and order situation." said by senior official of NIA, which they came to know in 11rh hour by intercepted call. So they didn't make any search operation in schools. Are they not feeling ashame to say baseless and loose talk before the world. Common sense is this, if received any message through intercepted call or from elsewhere, the sensitive issue, is to be addressed, how come they changed the decision not to enter in school. Go and conduct search operation even do not spare schoolbags of children. Afterall its a serious issue of National security, isn't it. Let the govt., take whatever action they want to the ulitimate is ' this time shall also p...'
                            Reply
                            1. K
                              khaja
                              Nov 19, 2016 at 8:10 am
                              Congratulations ! its another feather on the crown after 2014 win, all the Guj. Police officers who were accused and under trial have been acquitted and Promoted. Terrorist Sadhvi and company got relieved, Muzaffarnagar riot organizer felicitated, so called gau rakshas-the goondas on a free-run, on other hand Dr.Zakir naik-International renowned scholar who delivered thousands of lectures under scanner. IPS academy invited him to deliver lecture for their cadets, how come IPS academy invites a person who has been ociated with the wrong persons can invite as a Chief Guest to deliver lecture ? Its a shame on both Central and State Govt., for moving in a biased way, your ideology is different, but as ruling govt., responsibility is there to maintain, anyhow for you its an achievement, actually Nothing has been achieved.
                              Reply
                              1. K
                                Kumar
                                Nov 20, 2016 at 8:44 am
                                converting people to islam is nothing wrong, everybody has a right to convert but not forcefully. He gave logic and people are accepting discarding their religion considering as fake. Hundreds and Thousands of Hindus discarded their religion as fake and accepted Islam as real religion. This create problem to the Safron Organizations only but not to ordinary Hindus, consequently hatemonger government took action against him.
                                Reply
                                1. P
                                  PT
                                  Nov 19, 2016 at 6:31 am
                                  Feeling pitty on central govt. for targeting a religious scholar, who unlike other fake religious gurus who run their scam insution with black money, zakir naik does not collect money or give money to gain pority. Just because a neutral person judges what he talks is Right, sensible and logical, they voluntarily convert.. but Govt is unable to digest this powerful person.
                                  Reply
                                  1. M
                                    MANJUANATH
                                    Nov 20, 2016 at 12:10 am
                                    Zakir Naik thinks he is a genius and knows everything in the world and all others are FOOL
                                    Reply
                                    1. M
                                      moin ansari
                                      Nov 19, 2016 at 6:23 am
                                      We can see the fear of the Power (state) loosing to the Truth with their actions. The west had n been trying for the centuries and now here. The enemy is conducting an info warfare against Islam. Let the w world oppose, the TRUTH will stand tall.
                                      Reply
                                      1. M
                                        Mohammed Yunus
                                        Nov 19, 2016 at 5:37 am
                                        Zakir Naik has made more than 500 counts of inflammatory speeches across his 2000 programs worldwide. His most preferred discourse is based on anti-consution agendas be it in any country. He has encouraged polygamy and triple tallakh in India. He has started protests in UK and Australia to force the governments to introduce sharia law.
                                        Reply
                                        1. R
                                          Rizvi
                                          Nov 19, 2016 at 5:02 am
                                          This is worst thing indian government is doing against muslims, this shows that they are seeing defeat in coming election, trump formula, now muslim should realise thhat why it was god decision to get freedom from hindus during 1947.
                                          Reply
                                          1. R
                                            Rauf
                                            Nov 19, 2016 at 10:47 am
                                            BJP MEANING BAJJO JANTA KE PARTY ,,,, JANTA KE BAJJA DEYA ACCHE DIN
                                            Reply
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