The Modi government on Tuesday declared Islamic Research Foundation (IRF), the NGO of controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik as an 'unlawful organisation' and banned it for five years with immediate effect.

 

The ban has been enforced under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and approved at a meeting of the Union Cabinet presided over by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. 

 

Dr Zakir Naik found himself in the eye of the storm after reports surfaced that at least two of the Dhaka cafe attackers were "inspired by his preaching about Islam." On July 1, 2016, five militants took hostages and opened fire on Dhaka's famous Holey Artisan Bakery. 29 people, including the attackers, were killed in the November 26, 2008 Mumbai-style terror strike.

 

A formal notification will soon be issued by the Home Ministry soon. 

 

The move comes after investigation by the Home Ministry found the NGO was allegedly having dubious links with Peace TV, an international Islamic channel, accused of propagating terrorism, the official said. 

 

According to the Home Ministry, Naik, who heads the IRF, has allegedly made many provocative speeches and engaged in terror propaganda.