Government cracks down on Zakir Naik, Police begins probe against him

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Controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik faced more heat with the government saying “appropriate action” will be taken against him over his speeches that were reported to have inspired some of the Dhaka attackers, calling it “highly objectionable”.

Zakir Naik-AV
As Mumbai-based Naik came under the scanner, senior Congress leader Digivjaya Singh was in the BJP’s line of fire after a 2012 video showing him share a dais with the 50-year-old televangelist praising him at an event to promote communal harmony surfaced.

“The Home Ministry will study (his speeches). It will take appropriate action after studying them. His speeches, as being reported in the media, are highly objectionable,” the new Information and Broadcasting Minister M Venkaiah Naidu told reporters in Delhi.

A senior Mumbai Police official said security personnel have been deployed outside Naik’s Islamic Research Foundation office at Dongri, as a precautionary measure in the wake of the recent developments.

“We have neither received any threat perception nor particular instructions from the state or Central government. We have deployed our forces only as a precautionary measure to avoid any untoward incident,” the official said.

He, however, parried question on whether Mumbai Police has received any particular information or instruction to share some inputs on Naik.

“There is nothing as such. This is something which is being handled at the state and Central government level. But as a law enforcing agency, we are keeping a close eye on the situation,” the official said.

Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju had on Wednesday told in Delhi that, “Zakir Naiks speech is a matter of concern for us. Our agencies are working on this. But as a minister, I will not comment what action will be taken.”

Bangladeshi newspaper Daily Star had reported that militant Rohan Imtiaz, son of an Awami League leader, ran a propaganda on Facebook last year quoting Naik.

Naik, in his lecture aired on Peace TV, an international Islamic channel, had reportedly “urged all Muslims to be terrorists”.

The controversial Islamic orator and founder of Mumbai-based Islamic Research Foundation is banned in the UK and Canada for his hate speech aimed at other religions. He is among 16 banned Islamic scholars in Malaysia.