News Karnataka
Tuesday, January 31 2023

Zakir Naik’s NGO provided scholarship to IS sympathiser: NIA

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Mumbai: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Tuesday said controversial NRI preacher and televangelist Zakir Naik’s Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) had provided Rs 80,000 scholarship to an Islamic State (IS) sympathiser last year.

An official of the anti-terror agency said IRF had provided the scholarship to Abu Anas, a resident of Tonk in Rajasthan, in October 2015. “Anas had planned to go to Syria to fight along with IS in the same period but he was arrested by the NIA in January this year and later chargesheeted,” said an NIA official on the condition of anonymity.

The agency on Tuesday conducted a fresh raid at another property linked to him and his NGO after it lodged a case against him and his IRF under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act on Friday. Since Saturday, the agency has raided 21 properties of Naik, his office bearers, his immediately family members and others holding various posts in his NGO and private television channel.

“During the search operations, video tapes and DVDs of Zakir Naik’s public speeches, documents related to property and investment, financial transactions, foreign and domestic funding of the proscribed IRF as well as its associated companies, and electronic storage devices have been recovered,” said the NIA official.

The investigation has revealed that the proscribed IRF has close connections with some private organisations comprising Harmony Media Private Limited, Longlast Constructions Private Limited, Right Property Solutions Private Limited, Majestic Perfumes Private Limited and Alpha Lubricants Private Limited.

“Documents pertaining to inflow and outflow of foreign and domestic funding, which have been recovered during search operations, are being scrutinised,” the official said.

Naik is currently out of the country, and reportedly believed to be somewhere in Africa. Away from India since the past few months, the controversial evangelist did not come to attend the funeral of his father Abdul K. Naik, who died on October 30 here.

The IRF shot into limelight following allegations that Naik’s teachings and preachings had inspired terror strikes, including the terror siege on a Dhaka cafe in July this year that left over 20 people, mostly foreigners including an Indian woman, dead.

His Peace TV was banned by Bangladesh following the terror strike.

Since the past four months, Naik and the IRF are under the scanner of Indian agencies for alleged misdeeds, spreading or promoting communal disharmony, inciting feelings of enmity between communities and inspiring or supporting terror acts.

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