New Delhi: Indian government has extended the ban on the Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) for 5 more years citing that its activities are prejudicial to the security of the nation and have the potential of disturbing the peace and communal harmony and secular fabric of the country.
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) made this announcement through a notification. The Islamic Research Foundation is founded by the controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik.
“In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (1) of section 3 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 (37 of 1967), the Central Government declared the IRF as an unlawful association, vide, notification of the Government of India in the Ministry of Home Affairs number SO 3460(E), dated the 17th November 2016,” the MHA notification reads.
The MHA notification also said that the Central government is of the opinion that the IRF and its members, particularly, the founder and president of the IRF Dr. Zakir Naik has been encouraging and aiding its followers to promote or attempt to promote, on grounds of religion, disharmony or feeling of enmity, hatred or ill will between different religious communities and groups which are prejudicial to the integrity and security of the country, IANS reported.
The Central government further observed that the unlawful activities of the IRF are not curbed and controlled immediately, it will take the opportunity to continue its subversive activities and re-organize its activists who are still absconding.
The government also apprehended that the IRF cadre and supporters may disrupt the secular fabric of the country by polluting the minds of the people by creating communal disharmony, propagating anti-national sentiments, escalating secessionism by supporting militancy, and undertaking activities that are prejudicial to the sovereignty, integrity, and security of the country and it was necessary to extend the ban on IRF for five years more.
The Centre had declared the IRF an unlawful organization for the first time on November 17, 2016, under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 (37 of 1967) for a period of five years. The ban was to expire on Tuesday, IANS reported.
Zakir Naik, an Indian-born controversial Islamic preacher had fled to Malaysia in 2016 when the police lodged a case against him for his anti-national activities including promoting hatred among the religious communities through his speeches.
(With inputs from IANS)