The NIA on Tuesday issued a notice to controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik asking him to appear before it on March 14 in a case filed against him under anti-terror law. The notice was served at the Mumbai-based residence of 51-year-old Naik, who is believed to be staying in Saudi Arabia to evade arrest after his activities came under scanner following accusations that he had inspired some of the terrorists who attacked a cafe in Dhaka last year.
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Naik, the founder of proscribed Islamic Research Foundation (IRF), has been asked to appear before the anti-terror agency at its headquarters in Delhi on March 14, a NIA official said in Mumbai. The notice was received by his brother, Mohammad Abdul Karim Naik, at his residence in Jasmine Apartments in Mazagaon here, he said.
An FIR against Naik and his associates was registered by the NIA in November.
The physician-turned-preacher has been booked for allegedly promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony. Sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) have also been slapped on him.
In the FIR, the NIA alleged that Naik incited Muslim youths to commit unlawful and terrorist acts, the official said. The Centre has declared IRF, an NGO based at Dongri in south Mumbai, an unlawful organisation under the UAPA.
Besides the IRF, Naik is also founding trustee of the IRF Educational Trust and the Islamic Dimensions Trust.
“The televangelist is also linked with a slew of other entities like Peace TV, Harmony Media Pvt Ltd, Longlast Constructions Pvt Ltd, Right Property Solutions Pvt Ltd, Galaxy Multichannel Network Pvt Ltd, Majestic Perfumes Pvt Ltd and Alpha Lubricants Pvt Ltd,” he added.
The speeches of Naik are banned in the UK, Canada and Malaysia. Naik has rejected all allegations of involvement in terror-related activities and opposed ban on the IRF.