New Delhi, October 24, 2017: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) is all set to charge sheet the controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik for his alleged involvement in money laundering and terror funding activities in India.
As per officials, all formalities to file the charge sheet against Naik have been completed and will be duly submitted before a special court within this week.
The evangelical preacher with an active television presence first came under the lens of security forces following confessions by some terrorists in Bangladesh allegedly involved in the attacks on a café in Dhaka in last July. The perpetrators had claimed that they were reportedly inspired by Naik's hate speeches.
Following the allegations, the Islamic –preacher had fled from India on July 1, 2016, and continues to live outside the country.
Consequently, on November 18, 2016, the NIA had registered a case in its Mumbai branch against Zakir Naik under multiple sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. Previously, Islamic Research Foundation (IRF), Zakir Naik's NGO based in Mumbai has also been declared an unlawful organization as per the directives of the Union Home Ministry.
It was alleged that Zakir Naik and his connections were allegedly indulging in 'unlawful activities' that were proving to be hazardous for the country and its youth.
In an official statement in April this year, the Enforcement Directorate had said that Zakir Naik "through his provocative utterance (is) promoting enmity and hatred between different religious groups in India."
The statement had also said that "His inflammatory speeches and lectures have inspired and incited a number of Muslim youths in India to commit unlawful activities and terrorist acts."
All these charges were repeatedly denied by Naik.
Additionally, the Ministry of External Affairs also revoked Zakir Naik's passport on behest of the NIA earlier this year.
The NIA had also thrice issued notices to Zakir Naik to cooperate and join the investigations. However, he did not comply and did not appear before it.
Zakir Naik's NGO has been alleged to hold 'dubious' links to an international Islamic TV channel 'Peace TV' accused of propagating terrorism. Naik was also alleged to have to transferred IRF's international funding to the TV channel to make 'objectionable' programmes.
As per the Home Ministry, Zakir Naik has made multiple hate speeches that provoke people to engage in terrorist propaganda. It has been previously revealed that a handful of Indian youth allegedly inspired by Naik, have left their homes to join Islamic State forces.
Zakir Naik's speeches are banned in US, Malaysia, and Canada.
The televangelist, who had fled the country in July last year after his name had surfaced during a probe into the Bangladesh terror attacks, continues to live in Saudi Arabia and is now being probed by the NIA under charges of money laundering and terror funding.