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Maharashtra orders police probe into Dr. Zakir Naik's speeches, writings
Thursday July 7, 2016 10:31 PM, Agencies

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Thursday ordered a probe into the speeches, writings and other materials of Islamic preacher Dr. Zakir Naik, president of Islamic Research Foundation, an official said here.

Mumbai Police Commissioner D. Padsalgikar has been directed to conduct the probe and submit a report to the state government, said the official from the chief minister's office.

"I have asked the Mumbai Police Commissioner to conduct a probe (into Naik's speeches) and submit a report," Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis told PTI.

The enquiry follows mounting pressures from various quarters after Naik was accused of making inflammatory speeches which allegedly inspired the recent Bangladesh terror attacks.

Some Muslim organizations also have reacted in the matter with the Raza Academy staging a noisy protest outside Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) office in Dongri, South Mumbai this afternoon.

"We are protesting against Naik for his fiery speeches, what he promotes.. this is not the way to teach or propagate the spread of Islam. He should be banned," said Raza Academy founder-secretary M. Saeed Noori.

The protestors also condemned the recent spate of terror attacks globally including Saudi Arabia and Bangladesh and said Islam promotes and teaches peace.

"The perpetrators of such terror acts are not Muslims. Islam is a peaceful religion," Noori said.

Security personnel were deployed outside IRF office in Dongri as a precautionary measure in the wake of the escalating row over his alleged hate speeches.

Born and living in Mumbai, the 50-year old Naik is a qualified doctor who left the medical profession to found the IRF which runs the Islamic International School and NGO United Islamic Aid for poor and destitute.

Considered an authority on "comparative religion", Naik is the founder of Peace Television channel, Peace TV Bangla and Peace TV Urdu, and Dawah which invites people to understand Islam through dialogue.

Earlier on Thursday, Union Minister for Information & Broadcasting M. Venkaiah Naidu indicated that Naik could face action if his preachings and teachings were found to be objectionable.

On Wednesday, Shiv Sena MP from Mumbai Arvind Sawant sought a ban on Naik's speeches and movement as well as his television channels, to prevent him from making provocative speeches.

Meanwhile, senior Congress leader Digivjaya Singh was in BJP's line of fire after a 2012 video showing him share a dais with the 50-year- old televangelist praising him at an event to promote communal harmony surfaced today. The video in which Singh said Naik is a "man of peace" also triggered a slugfest between BJP and Congress.


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