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MHA Orders Probe Into Zakir Naik's FCRA License Issue

The Union Home Ministry has ordered a departmental inquiry into the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) licence controversy vis-a-vis Islamic tele preacher Zakir Naik's NGO Islamic Research Foundation (IRF), an official source said. Senior official Susheel Kumar has been directed to conduct the probe over the episode as "flip flop" by officials had resulted in the IRF getting the FCRA license, the source told IANS here.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh was displeased after the mandatory FCRA licence of NGO IRF was renewed by the Foreigners cell of the Home ministry. Sources said the online route for issuance of licences was utilised by the NGO on August 19 even as a probe was on against Naik. Four officials of the Home Ministry were suspended on September 1 for their "lapses" in renewing the FCRA licence of the NGO Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) run by Zakir Naik.

Naik's Peace TV and his speeches have come under the scanner of the central security agencies for allegedly propagating radical views, especially in the aftermath of the July 1 Dhaka terror siege that left 22 people dead. According to security agencies, Zakir Naik through Peace TV had reportedly promoted radical Islamist views.

While the probe by the Home Ministry and security agencies was on, the Law Ministry has meanwhile favoured registering a case against Naik and IRF for pursuing divisive agenda and communalism. However, a group of Home Ministry officials have resented the suspension of a senior IAS officer G K Dwivedi, who was heading Foreigners Cell in the Home ministry. They said suspension of the joint secretary was uncalled and "demoralising" as the alleged lapses were committed by his juniors only.

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