Mumbai police report indicting Zakir Naik of ‘unlawful activities’ sent to Centre

Mumbai: A Mumbai Police report indicting controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik for alleged provocative speeches and involvement in unlawful activities has been forwarded to the Centre, a top Maharashtra government official said on Wednesday.

The report was submitted to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who also holds the Home portfolio, early this month.

Fadnavis had then said the police found Naik to be allegedly involved in unlawful activities and delivering provocative speeches.

“The report submitted to the state government by Mumbai Police was in Marathi. We have translated the 71-page report into English and forwarded it to the Union Home Ministry two days ago,” Additional Chief Secretary (Home) K P Bakshi told reporters here.

He said the findings have also been sent to the state Law and Judiciary Department and its views are being sought on initiating action against the 50-year-old televangelist.

The police were asked to probe Naik’s past speeches available online to see if any of them could have motivated youth to join terrorist outfits, a move which came in backdrop of reports that his preachings inspired some of the gunmen who attacked a Dhaka cafe on July 1, leaving 22 people dead.

The city police were also conducting an inquiry along with other probe agencies into the functioning of Mumbai-based Islamic Research Foundation (IRF), founded by Naik, and scrutinising its funds from various parts of the world.

Naik had a lengthy interaction with Indian media via Skype from Saudi Arabia on July 15 during which he rubbished the charge that his sermons had inspired terror activities.

Stating that he was a “messenger of peace”, the physician-turned-preacher had accused the media of running a trial against him by highlighting “unverified” reports and “doctored” clippings.