NEW DELHI: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Monday issued a second notice to controversial Salafist preacher Zakir Naik asking him to appear before it on March 30 for questioning in connection with a pending case against him relating to the anti-terror law.
In the first notice issued to Naik earlier this month, the agency had asked Naik to appear before it March 14. Naik has been asked to appear before the Chief Investigating Office (CIO) of the case at the agency headquarters here. The notice was sent to the Mumbai residence of Naik who is suspected to be staying in Saudi Arabia.
The NIA had registered a FIR in November under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention Act) and for violation of Indian Penal Code sections relating to promoting communal disharmony and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of peace. Through his alleged inflammatory speeches and lectures, Naik has inspired and incited a number of Muslim youths in India to commit unlawful activities and terrorist act. The Islamic Research Foundation run by him has been declared as an unlawful entity under the UA(P) A.
“If Naik fails to turn up for questioning on March 30, the agency will yet again issue a notice. If Naik evades the third notice, the agency will move the designated court to declare him a proclaimed offender and initiate attachment proceedings against him,” an official said.
After issuing the second notice to Zakir Naik, the NIA in a statement issued on Monday night said the agency has so far examined 60 persons in the IRF case. Those examined include family members of Naik, some of his business associates, some employees and staff of the IRF as well as Harmony Media Private Limited.
“Some of the witnesses have given statements before the Magistrate, wherein they have stated as to how Naik had promoted enmity and hatred among the people of different religious beliefs, through his public utterances, and how he had hurt the religious sentiments of followers of other sects or religions,” the agency said.
Investigation has also revealed that Naik has procured a number of properties, in and around Mumbai, in the name of his family members, relatives and the companies set up by him. Naik has transferred huge amount of money from his foreign bank accounts to his bank accounts in India in last few years. However, the source of this foreign income is yet to be identified, said the NIA statement.
The first notice was issued by NIA against Naik February 28 for joining the investigation at the agency headquarters on March 14. “When no response was received from his end, second notice was issued to him for joining the investigation on 30.03.2017. So far, Dr Zakir Naik has not responded to the notices issued by the NIA,” added the statement.