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MHA To Examine Hate Speeches Of Mumbai Preacher Zakir Naik

Mumbai-based Islamic preacher Dr Zakir Abdul Karim Naik is in trouble after the government has asked the Home Ministry to analyse his sermons on TV to live audience. The Intelligence agencies have already gathered DVDs of Naik's speeches in which he is praising Osama Bin Laden and endorsing Fidayeen attacks (suicide attacks).

Naik controversy also triggered a political storm after a video of Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh praising Zakir Naik surfaced on the social media.Though the Congress leader tried to distance himself from the row arguing that “if there is evidence against Naik, the government should act." Singh in 2012 had attended a programme organised by Naik, where he had called him “messenger of peace who can help bring communities together in India."

Union Information & Broadcasting Minister Venkaiah Naidu said Naik's speeches were highly objectionable and it would be examined for further action. “The Home Ministry will study (his speeches). It will take appropriate action after studying them," Naidu said. Naik came under the scanner after reports that at least two Dhaka attackers were inspired by his speech. Bangladeshi Information Minister too had claimed that many religious “Alims, Ulemas and Maulanas" had lodged a complaint claiming Naik's interpretation of Islam was contradictory to Quranic version and Hadees.

Naik has already been banned from entering the UK, Canada and Malaysia for his hate speeches against other communities and endorsing terrorists.

Money routes via UK:- Naik's propaganda machinery operates through a maze of companies and a trust registered in the UK. Naik, in 2007, floated Islamic Research Foundation International, a private limited company to finance 'Peace TV' which is banned in India and several other countries. Details available with Express show that Naik is also one of the directors of Universal Broadcasting Corporation Limited, which holds the broadcasting license for Peace TV. He is also on the board of UK-based Lord Production Inc Ltd, which holds the license of Peace TV English. It is also a wholly-owned subsidiary of Universal Broadcasting Corporation Ltd. The Islamic Research Foundation International last year had made 'donations' of over `9 crore to Universal Broadcasting Corporation limited. Around `10 crore was paid in donations in 2013. Islamic Research Foundation International raises funds by appeals made through television broadcasts which directs people to its website where donations can be made using credit/debit cards or through a 24x7 call centre. Other donations are raised through monthly standing orders from donors and other donations sent via cheque. However, donor's names are not made public and it remains in the domain of speculation.

NSG team to visit B'desh:- A special team of National Security Guard (NSG) officers will be travelling to Bangladesh to “analyse and study" the bombings at an Eid prayer gathering on Thursday and the recent terror siege at a high-end restaurant in Dhaka. Special Forces establishment in Bangladesh approved the formers' request to visit the attack spots. (With PTI inputs)

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