NEW DELHI: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) is likely to file a chargesheet against Salafist preacher Zakir Naik at the NIA special court in Mumbai on Thursday, the agency sources say. Naik, a televangelist, is alleged to have radicalised a youth through his vitriolic content aired on Peace TV run by him. The Centre has also banned his Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) after it allegedly made derogatory remarks against Hindu gods and extolled Al Qaeda terrorist Osama bin Laden.
A number of IS operatives arrested by various agencies, including the NIA, have revealed that they were influenced to join the terror fold after being inspired by Naik’s speeches. His role came to the fore after the 2016 terror siege in Dhaka, where two of the terrorists were found to be inspired by his speeches. The NIA had booked him under Section 153 A (communal disharmony) of the Indian Penal Code and provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act on November 19 last year.
“Credible information has revealed that Dr Zakir Abdul Karim Naik, s/o Abdul Karim Naik, the president of IRF, and his associates have been promoting enmity and hatred between different religious groups in India through his public speeches and lectures on various platforms, and inciting Muslim youth and terrorists in India and abroad to commit unlawful activities and terrorist acts.
These activities of Naik and his associates are causing disaffection against the government and are prejudicial to the maintenance of harmony among various communities and likely to disturb the public tranquility,” the NIA had said.
The agency had recovered incriminating documents/files, electronic storage devices and about `12 lakh following searches at the premises of Naik and the IRF. The documents relate to various activities, including suspected financial transactions and property details.