Televangelist and preacher Zakir Naik has served an INR5 billion notice to Indian TV channel Times Now’s editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami for subjecting him to a media trial and defaming him, Firstpost reported.
Earlier, it was claimed the speeches of the preacher had reportedly inspired some of the terrorists who carried out the vicious attack at a café in Dhaka on July 1, resulting in the deaths of 20 foreigners. Subsequently, India’s Maharashtra state chief minister had ordered a probe against the preacher for his ‘hate speech’ allegedly inspiring the attack.
Never incited, supported terrorism: Zakir Naik
According to the notice sent on Saturday, Arnab Goswami carried out a media trial of the preacher with malicious intent, listing the statements that the former reportedly made during his weekly news show The NewsHour.
“My client states that without verifying facts and without having any positive and/or cogent evidence in support, you have recklessly and callously, with deliberate and malicious intention made and published on the television the aforesaid false, defamatory and damaging remarks against my client, which have severely harmed my client’s impeccable reputation,” the notice read.
It asked the editor to provide in writing the evidence based on which he made his statements and withdraw remarks in addition to tendering an unconditional apology. Subsequently, the notice demanded a sum of rupees five billion for causing the preacher, what it called, “mental trauma and agony.”
India orders probe against Dr Zakir Naik after reports of scholar 'inspiring' Dhaka militant
Earlier on July 11, Naik said he never supported or incited terrorism. In a statement, Naik expressed shock at the media trial against him and growing calls for a ban on his television channel.
The preacher had also said that most of his clips shown on television were either out of context, half statements or doctored, saying media can convert a hero into villain or even a villain into a hero. Naik is currently out of India and has addressed the media by means of video conferencing.
This article originally appeared on The Indian Express.
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