New Delhi

MHA extends suspension of joint secretary GK Dwivedi

ZAKIR NAIK (File) Televangelist Zakir Naik

Despite bureaucrats in the union home ministry queuing up in support of suspended Joint Secretary GK Dwivedi, the MHA has acted tough and extended his suspension for 15 days. Dwivedi and three others officials of the foreigners division had been suspended for facilitating the renewal of FCRA (Foreign Contribution Regulation Act) licence to televangelist Zakir Naik's NGO, Islamic Research Foundation(IRF), even as the controversial preacher was under the lens, with a probe initiated against him . 

Naik was allegedly named by some of the arrested ISIS operatives who told the National investigation Agency(NIA) sleuths that they were motivated by his speeches to carry out terror acts.

The MHA was left red faced after Naik's NGO received clearance for foreign funding, despite an ongoing probe against him. 

A committee, set up by the MHA, reviewed Dwivedi's suspension on Monday, and decided to extend it for 15 more days. 

The ministry is awaiting the report of secretary (border management), the inquiry officer in the MHA, who is still examining Dwivedi's case to establish the sequence of events and the charge of negligence levelled against him.

Meanwhile, Dwivedi has made representations to Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi, claiming that the process of renewal of NGO licenses registered under the foreign contribution regulation act (FCRA) had been made online and that his junior officers were empowered to scrutinise each file before such licences were renewed. He claims the matter did not come to him since he was not the competent authority dealing with it. His colleagues in the MHA supported him and told the Home Secretary that action against Dwivedi was too harsh .

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