Mumbai police submits report on Zakir Naik after investigating past speeches

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Zakir Naik. Picture Courtesy: Siasat

The Mumbai police on Tuesday submitted its report concerning the alleged provocative speeches of Islamic televangelist Zakir Naik to the Maharashtra Home department. Naik is currently being investigated by various other Central agencies as well.

The report will now be vetted by the Home department and sent to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis for further action, Principal Secretary (Home) Vijay Satbir Singh said.

Mumbai police had been tasked with investigating Naik’s past speeches, which are available online, to ascertain if any of them could have inspired youths to join terrorist organisations. The probe was ordered amit reports that his preachings inspired some of those involved in Dhaka terror strike.

Apart from his speeches, cops are also conducting a joint inquiry with other agencies into the functioning of Naik’s Islamic Research Foundation (IRF), to understand how it collects and spends the funding received from all over the world.

Naik, who is currently abroad, has been facing heat over allegations of inspiring some of the Dhaka attackers through his speeches. Media reports claimed that his provocative speeches inspired some of the terrorists who carried out Bangladesh’s worst terror attack at a cafe in Dhaka on July 1 where 22 people lost their lives.

On July 15, Naik had a lengthy interaction with Indian media via Skype from Saudi Arabia and rubbished the accusations that his sermons had inspired terror activity, including the Dhaka attack. He has also ruled out returning to India this year and claimed his remarks were ‘blown out of context’ and that he has never inspired any terror activity.

Naik, who claims to be a messenger of peace, also accused the Indian media of running a trial against him by leveraging on unverified reports, doctored clippings and statements being shown out of context.

Meanwhile, on Monday, the Mumbai police registered a case against an IRF employee and three others, including two arrested earlier by Kerala police in connection with alleged ISIS recruitment case in the southern state. They have been booked under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and IPC section 120-B (criminal conspiracy).

Later in the evening, Maharashtra CM acknowledged the submission of the report and said that the report will be shared with the central agencies before deciding the further course of action.

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