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Zakir Naik’s organisation IRF banned for 5 years

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The Union Cabinet on Tuesday decided to declare Islamic Research Foundation floated by preacher Zakir Naik an outlawed organisation under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and banned it for five years for alleged terror activities.

The move comes after investigations found the NGO was allegedly having dubious links with Peace TV, an international Islamic channel that has been accused of propagating terrorism, the official said.

According to the Home Ministry, Naik, who heads the IRF, has allegedly made many provocative speeches and engaged in terror propaganda.

Maharashtra Police has also registered criminal cases against Naik for his alleged involvement in radicalisation of youngsters.

An ‘unlawful’ association is different from a ‘terrorist’ organisation listed under UAPA. The law defines ‘unlawful association’ as any organisation “which has for its object any activity that is punishable under Section 153A or 153B of IPC” – provisions dealing with threat to social and communal harmony.

Earlier this month, Naik’s NGO was put under prior permission category, thus preventing it from receiving foreign funds without getting nod from the central government.

In a gazette notification, the Home Ministry had said that on the basis of records available and reports received from intelligence agencies, it found that the IRF Education Trust has violated various provisions of the Foreign Contribution Regulations Act (FCRA) 2010.

“Now, therefore, the central government in exercise of powers conferred by sub-section (3) of section 11 of the FCRA 2010, hereby specifies that the IRF Education Trust shall obtain prior permission of the central government on each occasion before accepting any foreign contribution in accordance with the provisions of section 12 of the Act and rules made thereunder,” the notification had said.

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