NIA court issues non-bailable warrant against Zakir Naik for promoting enmity

Asmita Sarkar
NIA court issues non-bailable warrant against Zakir Naik for promoting enmity

A special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court in Mumbai on Thursday issued a non-bailable warrant (NBW) against Zakir Naik for promoting enmity among communities. Last Thursday, the Enforcement Directorate obtained a NBW against him from a Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court in Mumbai.

He is facing multiple probes as 10 cases were filed against him for his remarks on Hindu gods. The cases were filed in Kurla, Vengurla, Sawantwadi and outside Maharashtra. Zakir Naik has filed an application seeking one agency to investigate all the cases, but the plea is pending. 

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Naik's Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) was banned in 2016 to "safeguard national security". After the IRF was banned, the NIA filed a case against him and his organisation for inciting Muslims to violence and promoting enmity among groups. 

The issue came to a head after the terrorists who orchestrated a cafe attack in Bangladesh said they were inspired by his speeches.

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"The decision by the Union of India was taken in the interest to safeguard the sovereignty, integrity and national security of India," Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva said, according to India Express. He was also banned from entering the UK and Canada. 

The ED had told a special court in Mumbai that Naik had set up fake companies to divert funds from India and abroad. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) had earlier filed a charge sheet against Aamir Gazdar, his close aide, and Harmony Media Limited, company floated by Naik, for money laundering on behalf of the televangelist.

Naik, who is in Malaysia, is facing flak from political parties there as well. 

"The PR doesn't make Naik immune to being banned as an unwanted person. We have banned Malaysian legislators from (entering) Sarawak before," Deputy Chief Minister of Sarawak James Jemut Masing said.

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