The National Investigation Agency (NIA) filed a chargesheet against controversial Islamic preacher and founder of Islamic Research Foundation, Zakir Naik, on Thursday for allegedly inciting youngsters for terror activities and giving hate speeches. It has also named IRF and the company Harmony Media Limited.
The chargesheet has been filed under section 10 UA (P) Act and Sections 120B, 153A, 295A, 298 and 505(2) of the IPC. The NIA before a special court in Mumbai filed an application seeking permission to file a chargesheet. The court allowed the plea directing the NIA to submit the chargesheet with directions to the court registry to accept it for further procedure. Naik has been named as an absconding accused.
51-year-old Zakir Naik, who is currently abroad, is being probed under terror and money-laundering charges by the NIA. He fled India on July 1, 2016, after terrorists in neighbouring Bangladesh claimed that they were inspired by his speeches. In November last year, the NIA had registered a case against the televangelist at its Mumbai branch under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. His Mumbai-based NGO, Islamic Research Foundation (IRF), has already been declared an unlawful association by the Union Home Ministry.
Naik has been accused of spreading hatred by his speeches, funding terrorists and money laundering over the years. He is believed to have acquired Saudi citizenship, but it’s not confirmed yet. But during his interactions with the Indian media, Naik has repeatedly denied all the charges levelled on him.