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Centre extends ban on Zakir Naik's IRF for 5 more years

The Centre had declared the IRF an unlawful organisation for the first time on November 17, 2016 under the UAPA
Last Updated : 16 November 2021, 17:14 IST

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The Centre has extended the ban imposed on the Islamic Research Foundation (IRF), set up by controversial preacher Zakir Naik who was accused of inspiring Muslim youths in India and abroad to commit terror acts.

A Union Home Ministry notification said that the IRF has been indulging in activities that are prejudicial to the security of the country and have the potential of disturbing the peace and communal harmony and disrupting the secular fabric of the country and hence declared unlawful under the stringent anti-terror law UAPA.

The IRF was first banned under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 (37 of 1967) by the central government on November 17, 2016.

Naik, who was born in Mumbai but fled India in the wake of the 2016 Dhaka bombing, is accused of spreading hatred among different communities through his Peace TV and social media networks where he has over 20 million followers and is currently living in Malaysia.

One of the Dhaka bombers had said that he was inspired by Naik's speeches.

Naik has denied having any role in any of these incidents.

The home ministry said that the statements and speeches made by Naik are objectionable and subversive and through them, he has been promoting enmity and hatred among religious groups and inspiring youths of a particular religion in India and abroad to commit terrorist acts.

The ministry said that Naik's activities will disrupt the secular fabric of the country by polluting the minds of the people by creating communal disharmony, propagating anti-national sentiments, escalating secessionism by supporting militancy and some people may undertake activities that are prejudicial to the sovereignty, integrity and security of the country.

The Home Ministry said it has decided to extend the ban imposed on the IRF under the UAPA for another five years. India has been pursuing with Malaysia its request for extradition of the fugitive evangelist without any success.

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Published 16 November 2021, 11:59 IST

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