Mumbai: A day after Centre outlawed for five years Islamic Research Foundation promoted by controversial preacher Zakir Naik, Maharashtra government has decided to keep a close watch on those locals and organisations who continue to fund the NGO and would treat them as “anti-social elements”.
“Banning IRF has dealt a strong blow to the organisation. Its anti-national activities can now be controlled. Though it (IRF) cannot receive funds from international organisations, there is a strong suspicion they will continue to receive funds from locals,” state’s Minister of State for Home, Deepak Kesarkar, told reporters here.
The Union government yesterday declared IRF as an outlawed organisation under the anti-terror law for its alleged terror activities. The decision was taken at a meeting of the Cabinet presided over by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Kesarkar said the state government was keeping “very close watch on local people and organisations who continue to back IRF. They will be treated as anti-social elements and will be booked accordingly.”
The minister said the government wanted to send a strong message to other local organisations, which might be discreetly engaged in “anti-national” activities, that they are under the scanner and would face “serious consequences” if even a slight evidence is found against them.
He said the government was also simultaneously monitoring Naik’s school here to check if it is carrying out any indoctrination activities.
IRF Educational Trust of Naik-runs Islamic International School (IIS) at Mazgaon in South Mumbai and also has a branch in Chennai.
“We have to make sure children are not being taught what the IRF is known for. The curriculum being taught to students should be as prescribed by the government. Children cannot be allowed to be radicalised in the school,” the Minister said.
Meanwhile, Education Minister Vinod Tawde tweeted the ban on IRF would not affect the students studying under the ambit of the organisation and that measures for rehabilitation of students will be taken.
Tawde had earlier said the government will consider transferring the reigns of the school to respected foundations like Anjuman-i-Islam that have been working in education field for long.