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Indian interior ministry puts controversial preacher Zakir Naik's NGO on prior permission list

The controversial preacher came under scanner after it was alleged that one of the Dhaka cafe attackers was influenced by his preachings.The attack on upscale cafe on July 1 sent shockwaves across Bangladesh. (Image source: Wikipedia) Photograph: (Others)

Mumbai, Maharashtra, India Sep 10, 2016, 03.36 AM (IST)
Indian interior ministry has put controversial preacher Zakir Naik's NGO Islamic Research Foundation in the 'prior permission list', which bars it from receiving foreign funds directly. 

The interior ministry has asked the central banking institution, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to seek prior permission from it before releasing any money to the NGO based in the western Mumbai city. The decision comes in the wake of a preliminary inquiry conducted by the Indian interior ministry that found that the NGO was carrying out activities contrary to the Foreign Contribution Regulations Act (FCRA) under which it has to function, according to Indian news agency PTI. 

Despite several ongoing probes, the interior ministry had renewed IRF's  FCRA licence last month. Consequently, the head of the foreigners division of the ministry looking after the FCRA-related issues, and three other official , joint secretary GK Dwivedi, and three other officials were suspended for the 'goof-up'. 

Meanwhile, Naik's NGO on Friday said it had made a donation of Rs 50 lakh to Rajiv Gandhi Foundation (RGF) owned by Congress, one of the oldest political party in the country. The statement has raked a political debate with Congress trying to refute the claims by saying that the money went to an allied organisation and it was returned.

Naik has been accused of radicalising and attracting youths for terror acts. 

The controversial preacher has come under the scanner of the security agencies after Bangladeshi newspaper 'Daily Star' had reported that one of the attackers of the July 1 terror strike in Dhaka, Rohan Imtiaz, was influenced by Naik's preachings. 

A popular but controversial Islamic orator, Naik is banned in the UK and Canada for his hate speeches aimed against other religions. He is among 16 banned Islamic scholars in Malaysia. Peace TV, run by Naik, was also banned after the Dhaka cafe siege. 

(WION with inputs from agencies) 
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