Mumbai: A special NIA court issued a non-bailable warrant (NBW) on Thursday against controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik, who is wanted by the agency for his alleged role in a terror case.
Last week, another city court had issued an NBW against Mr. Naik in a case of money laundering registered by the Enforcement Directorate (ED). The lawyer representing the ED in court had said Mr. Naik was believed to be in the United Arab Emirates. The National Investigation Agency (NIA) had registered the case against him under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act last year.
“There are reasonable grounds to believe that Mr. Naik is evading arrest and that he will not voluntarily appear before the court or the agency. I am of the view that an NBW is necessary to be issued,” Special Judge V.V. Patil said in his order. The court also observed that it found substance in the allegations made by the NIA. “Naik did not respond to the notices issued by the NIA to appear before the investigation officer,” the court said.
The NIA told the court that Mr. Naik has been allegedly promoting enmity and hatred between different religious groups in India through his speeches and lectures delivered on various platforms. It also said that he has allegedly been inciting Muslim youth and terrorists in India and abroad to commit acts of terror.
The agency said the preacher’s arrest is urgently required to unearth the entire conspiracy. Mr. Naik, 51, left India last year allegedly to evade arrest after some perpetrators of Dhaka terror attack claimed they were inspired by him. Following the Dhaka attack, the NIA had registered a case against him and several officials of his organisation Islamic Research Foundation under IPC section 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion) and the UAPA.