Fearing arrest by Mumbai police, Zakir Naik skips father’s funeral

Mumbai: Controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik, who is currently said to be in Malaysia, skipped his father’s funeral which was held in Mumbai, fearing arrest by the police.

Naik’s father Abdul Karim Naik, a physician and educationist, passed away at his home here early on Sunday morning after suffering a cardiac arrest. Even though there is no arrest warrant against the preacher, reports suggest that Naik did not fly down to Mumbai because of the cases against him for ‘provocative’ speeches and the possibility of police detaining him.

The government had drafted a list of FIRs filed against Naik for alleged hate speeches and the law ministry could soon ban his organisation.

Zakir Naik left the country following allegations that some of those involved in the July terror attack in Dhaka drew inspiration from his speeches and was expected to visit Mumbai to pay respects to his father.

His father was 87.

“He suffered a cardiac arrest at 3.30am at his home in Mazgaon and could not recover from that. Abdul had been keeping unwell from sometime. He was laid to rest at a graveyard in the same area,” an associate of Zakir Naik had said.

Born in Ratnagiri in coastal Maharashtra, Abdul Naik, a doctor, served as the president of the Bombay Psychiatric Society, a private organisation of mental health professionals, in 1994-95. He had also been active in the field of education.

Asked about Zakir Naik skipping the funeral, his aide said, “He wasn’t able to attend. It was too short a time. He will soon be here to pay respects to his father.”