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Court declares Zakir Naik ‘proclaimed offender’, NIA initiates process to attach his property

Court declares Zakir Naik ‘proclaimed offender’, NIA initiates process to attach his property

Mumbai: Islamic televangelist, Zakir Naik has been declared a ‘proclaimed offender’ by a special court, the NIA said here on Friday.

Following the court order last week, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has initiated the process to attach his assets under the law.

According to NIA, the order declaring Naik – who enjoys an NRI status – a proclaimed offender was issued on 21st July after which the process to attach his assets started under the Criminal Procedure Code’s Section 83.

On 18th November last year, the NIA had lodged a criminal case against Naik in Mumbai, invoking various sections of the Indian Penal Code and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

Simultaneously, the Central Government had declared the Mumbai-based Islamic Research Foundation (IRF), launched by him as an “unlawful association”.

Following this, the NIA had raided his offices, a school and a private TV channel offices which were later sealed.

Naik, who left the country early in 2016, is charged with spreading hatred through provocative speeches, terror funding and money-laundering, among others.

After this, the organisation had said that actions are done by individuals named in the FIRs — Zakir Naik and Arshi Qureshi — cannot reflect on the organisation and will affect the charitable and educational work being done by the IRF.

The IRF also argued that the FIRs were based on speeches allegedly made by Zakir Naik years before the charges were raised. Naik had condemned the actions of terrorist organisations and said that the ISIS is un-Islamic.