NEW DELHI: The National Investigation Agency suspects that Islamic preacher Zakir Naik’s banned Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) funded as many as 300 people, many of whom travelled to areas in Syria and Iraq under IS influence. The revelation comes after scrutiny of documents, pertaining to inflow and outflow of foreign and domestic funding to the IRF, recovered by the NIA during searches at the premises of the banned outfit and its founder Naik.
The NIA had on Tuesday said, “The investigation has also revealed that Abu Anas, a resident of Tonk, Rajasthan, arrested and chargesheeted in the NIA case — RC-14/2015/NIA-DLI (ISIS conspiracy case) — had received `80,000 from the proscribed IRF as scholarship in October, 2015.” The agency further said that Abu Anas had planned to go to Syria to fight along with the IS in the same period. He was arrested by the NIA in January.
After securing permission from a designated court in Mumbai, the agency on Tuesday also sought information from banks to share account details related to Naik, his family members and the IRF.
The agency has further requested three banks to immediately freeze 25 accounts connected to Naik, his family and the IRF. In addition, the NIA has handed over a list of over 12 people including Naik, his family members, close friends and organisations, to all 72 scheduled commercial banks to check whether these people had any accounts in these financial institutions.
The agency had booked Naik and the IRF under sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and Indian Penal Code for allegedly promoting communal enmity between groups. In the letters to the banks, the NIA has cited Section 43 of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for executing the action. Under this section, only an NIA officer above the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police can order freezing of bank accounts. The agency has also written to the Home Ministry for banning the website run by the IRF as well as suspending its online activities.