In their bid to look for office-bearers of the Islamic Research Foundation to serve a notice on it to appear before a judicial tribunal, police personnel from Dongri police station approached Areeb Majeed on Saturday at Arthur Road jail. The Kalyan-based youth, facing trial for allegedly being a member of Islamic State, has no links with Zakir Naik’s IRF, as per investigation by the NIA. Earlier last week, police officials had said they will be scanning prison records to see if any IRF members were previously jailed.
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When contacted, senior police officials too appeared surprised by the local police approaching Majeed to serve a notice pertaining to the IRF. The chargesheet filed by the NIA against Majeed in 2015 makes no mention of his association with the IRF.
After the government issued a ban on the organisation founded by televangelist Naik, it is required under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act to present before a tribunal its case proving sufficient cause for the ban.
A tribunal comprising Delhi High Court Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal will be adjudicating the decision and a notice is required to be issued to the IRF to make its representation against the ban.
While one copy was served to a lawyer representing the IRF, police officials had been attempting to trace office-bearers to serve the notice since its office in Dongri has been shut since the ban.
A senior police official said that a notice has since been served to the brother of Naik last week.
“We have served a notice to the brother of Zakir Naik. I do not have the knowledge as to why was Areeb Majeed approached. Maybe the official was not aware about him not being associated with the IRF,” said a senior official who did not wish to be named.
Advocate Mubin Solkar, who represents the IRF, said the organisation’s legal team will be present before the tribunal in Delhi.
Meanwhile, the NIA has begun arguments to frame charges against Majeed. The NIA has claimed Majeed along with three of his associates had travelled to Syria to join the IS. The NIA has proposed to charge Majeed under sections 16, 18 and 20 of the UAPA read with section 125 of the Indian Penal Code.