NIA books Zakir Naik, raids IRF premises

In a joint operation, NIA and Mumbai police raided 12 IRF premises and booked Naik for terror and conspiracy

Police stand guard outside an IRF office in Dongri, which was among the 12 locations raided on Saturday. Pic/Bipin Kokate
Police stand guard outside an IRF office in Dongri, which was among the 12 locations raided on Saturday. Pic/Bipin Kokate

Barely three days after the Centre declared the Islamic Research Foundation  (IRF) an unlawful association and imposed a five-year ban on it, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) raided 12 of its premises in the state on Saturday. On Friday, the NIA had filed a case against IRF founder Dr Zakir Naik and a few others under an anti-terror law.

"Dr Zakir Abdul Karim Naik, president of IRF, and his associates have been promoting enmity and hatred between religious groups in India through his public speeches and lectures. He has also been inciting Muslim youths and terrorists in India and abroad to commit unlawful activities and terrorist acts," the NIA said in a statement.

A senior NIA official said, "Naik and the others have been booked under Sections 10 (for being a member of an unlawful organisation), 13 (for unlawful activities), 18 (for conspiracy) of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and Section 153A (inciting hatred) of the IPC."

Day-long raid
The 12 locations include Naik's Byculla residence, IRF's Dongri headquarters, two office premises and the residence of an IRF employee at Nagpada. An NIA official said they had seized various incriminating documents and files as well as some electronic storage devices during the raids. "We also found R12 lakh in cash. The recovered documents include receipts of financial transactions and property details of Zakir Naik and the IRF," the official said. "The purpose of the raids was to procure electronic and documentary evidence in the case. We also wanted more information on the flow of funds inside the organisation," said NIA inspector general Alok Mittal.

'Resigned' worker under scanner
NIA sources said the residence of IRF member Amir Abdul Munnar Gazdar on Underia Street in Chauki Mohalla, Nagpada, was raided. Sources said Gazdar had claimed to have resigned from IRF a few months ago.

Lawyer speak
Naik's counsel, Mobin Solkar said the case filed by NIA was illegal. "As the SC had earlier stayed a similar case, any fresh complaints on the same grounds stand void," he said.  

IRF speak
IRF said in a statement, "Authorities have frozen Islamic International School's bank account. Freezing it can only have one purpose - to shut  it down."

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