NEW DELHI (IANS) — The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Monday issued fresh notice to televangelist Zakir Naik to appear before it in a case where he stands accused of promoting enmity between groups on religious and racial grounds.
Through the notice, the agency has asked the 51-year-old Islamic preacher to appear at NIA headquarters in the national capital on March 30.
The agency had earlier this month issued the first notice to Naik, asking him to appear before it on March 14, which the self-exiled preacher avoided.
An NIA official said that the notice was served at Naik’s Mumbai-based Jasmine Apartments in Mazgaon area.
Naik first shot into the limelight when his name cropped up during the investigations into the terror strike at an upscale restaurant in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on July 1. One of the terrorists involved in that attack allegedly claimed to have been inspired by Naik’s speeches.
The NIA later filed cases against Naik under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for allegedly promoting enmity between groups on religious and racial grounds, and raided over a dozen offices, residential premises, his Peace TV offices and other locations, besides freezing a bank account of his NGO.
Naik, who is believed to be staying in Saudi Arabia to evade arrest after his activities came under scanner, is the founding trustee of the Islamic Research Foundation (IRF), IRF Educational Trust and the Islamic Dimensions Trust.
Besides, Naik has close connections with Peace TV channel, Harmony Media Pvt. Ltd., Longlast Constructions Pvt. Ltd., Right Property Solutions Pvt. Ltd., Galaxy Multichannel Network Pvt. Ltd., Majestic Perfumes Pvt. Ltd., and Alpha Lubricants Pvt. Ltd.
The Enforcement Directorate has also lodged a money-laundering case against Naik and his NGO.