NEW DELHI: Days after militants killed more than 20 hostages including foreigners in Bangladesh, Indian security agencies have launched investigations against Muslim preacher Dr Zakir Naik, Indian media reported.
According Indian media reports, investigations post the Dhaka attack revealed that two of the attackers were followers of Zakir Naik.
Concerned about the alleged influence of the tele-evangelist, the Bangladesh government has requested the Indian government to examine the content as well as the context of the controversial preacher’s sermons.
The Indian government is looking into whether preacher Dr Zakir Naik, through his speeches, not only justifies but glorifies terrorist acts, conveying tacit support to Daesh, India’s NDTV reported.
However, Dr Naik has rejected the claims and said, “I disagree that I inspired this act of killing innocent people” and declared “terrorism is Devil-ish”.
Naik told The Indian Express that he condemns the attack. “By using the name Islamic State, we are condemning Islam… They are the anti-Islamic state of Iraq and Syria that has killed innocent foreigners. The name is given by enemies of Islam,” he said.
Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu said that the government will study Dr Naik’s speeches. “The Home Ministry will study and take a decision,” Mr Naidu said.
Security has been beefed up at Zakir Naik’s Bombay office. Naik is the founder of the Mumbai-based Islamic Research Foundation.