A special NIA court in Mumbai issued a non-bailable warrant against controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik, wanted by the agency for his alleged role in a terror case. Last week, another city court had issued a NBW against Naik in a case of money laundering registered by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).

The ED lawyer had said Naik was believed to be in the United Arab Emirates. The National Investigation Agency (NIA) had registered the case against Naik under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act last year. 

"There are reasonable grounds to believe that Naik is evading arrest and that he will not voluntarily appear before the court or before the agency. I am of the view that 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," said the court. 

The NIA told the court that Naik has been allegedly promoting enmity and hatred between different religious groups in India through his speeches and lectures on various platforms. 

It also said that Naik has been allegedly inciting Muslim youths and terrorists in India and abroad to commit terrorist acts. The arrest of Naik is urgently required for the purpose of the investigation in order to unearth the entire conspiracy, the NIA said. 

Naik, 51, left India last year, allegedly to evade arrest after some perpetrators of Dhaka terror attack claimed that they were inspired by him. 

Following the Dhaka attack, the NIA had registered a case against him and some officials of his organisation, Islamic Research Foundation, under section 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion) of IPC and the UAPA.