The Union Cabinet on Tuesday gave a go-ahead to declare the NGO run by controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik as an “unlawful association” which disturbed social and communal harmony and placed it under a ban for five years with immediate effect.
Banning any organisation under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) requires an approval by the Cabinet, and a Gazette notification will follow soon.
The NGO, Islamic Research Foundation (IRF), was declared an “unlawful association” under the UAPA primarily on the basis of four key points: criminal cases against Dr. Naik, provocative speeches by the preacher, the NGO’s dubious relationship with the banned Peace TV and transfer of NGO’s money to Peace TV.
“We relied on investigations done by Maharashtra Police and intelligence agencies. He has made many provocative speeches and propagated terror across the country,” said a senior home ministry official.
A Tribunal will be set up where Dr. Naik could challenge the ban on his NGO.