MHA moves to declare IRF an 'unlawful association'

MHA moves to declare IRF an 'unlawful association' (File) Islamic preacher Zakir Naik

Centre is preparing to declare Zakir Naik's IRF as an 'unlawful association' under anti-terror UAPA law.

The union home ministry has prepared a draft notification for declaring controversial televangelist Zakir Naik's NGO Islamic Research Foundation(IRF) as an unlawful associationunder Section (3)(1) of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, 1967. The MHA is preparing a strong ground for its banning and subsequent approval by a tribunal as mandated under the anti terror law. The MHA will refer the notification for adjudication by the Tribunal to be constituted under section 5 of UAPA within 30 days from date of publication of the notification, said a top government official.

Sources said the ministry of law (department of legal affairs and legislative department) has concurred with the notification .

The MHA has prepared a tough ground for declaring the outfit as an an unlawful association, arguing that the activities of IRF and its president Zakir Naik are highly inflammatory in nature and prejudicial to the maintenance of harmony between various religious groups and communities.

"If urgent steps are not taken, there is every possibility of more youth being motivated and radicalised to commit terror acts," it has noted.

The MHA will argue its case before the tribunal on the basis of evidence and statements gathered by the National Investigation Agency (NIA). It has said in its draft note that "statements of some terrorists arrested for being involved in the terrorist incidents and some ISIS sympathisers have revealed that they were inspired by the fundamentalist statements of Naik, clearly indicating the subversive nature of his preaching and speeches."

The MHA has noted that "such subversive ideology is against India's pluralistic and secular fabric and it may be viewed as causing disaffection against india thereby making it an "unlawful activity".

The IRF and its president Naik have denied all charges levelled against it so far.

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