Zakir Naik's NGO barred from receiving direct foreign funding

Home ministry directs Reserve Bank of India to seek prior permission before giving any money to the NGO

News Desk September 10, 2016
Home ministry directs Reserve Bank of India to seek prior permission before giving any money to the NGO. PHOTO: AFP

The Indian government has banned Islamic televangelist Zakir Naik's NGO Islamic Research Foundation from receiving foreign funds directly.

The Indian home ministry slapped the ban on Naik's NGO on the grounds that it was carrying out activities contrary to the Foreign Contribution Regulations Act (FCRA), while directing Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to seek prior permission from it before giving any money to the NGO.

India set to slap terror charges on Zakir Naik, ban his NGO

According to sources, putting IRF on prior permission category meant that RBI would from now on, have to inform and take permission from the home ministry before releasing any funds the NGO receives, Hindustan Times reported.

The government, while declaring IRF an ‘unlawful’ organisation last month, decided to slap terror charges on the televangelist, whose ‘hate speech’ was reported to have inspired one of the five Dhaka cafe attackers.

According to reports, top government sources revealed that the Indian home ministry had decided to charge Naik under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) for speeches the ministry and the Maharashtra government has allegedly found containing extremist content.

Never incited, supported terrorism: Zakir Naik

“The primary ground for invoking terror charges against Naik are statements by those involved in past terror acts, conceding that they were motivated by his speeches,” an intelligence officer said. Naik, who has been abroad since the cafe attack rocked Bangladesh, has reportedly called off plans to return to India.

Further, authorities in India also decided to ban Naik’s NGO under the same law on grounds of spreading hatred through his speeches. Once the ban is implemented, IRF and its associate organisations across India, will be shut down.

This article originally appeared on Hindustan Times.


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