Zakir Naik's IRF banned for 5 years

The government has banned Islamic Research Foundation (IRF), the NGO of controversial televangelist Zakir Naik, as an `unlawful association' under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). The decision to slap a five-year ban on IRF with immediate effect was approved at the meeting of the Union Cabinet on Tuesday .
The grounds for declaring IRF as “unlawful“ included Naik's “objectionable and subversive“ speeches, criminal cases filed against him and other members of the NGO in Mumbai, Sindhudurg and Kerala as well as his “dubious“ links with Peace TV that allegedly features “communal“ and “pro-jihad“ content.
An `unlawful' association is different from a `terrorist' organisation listed under UAPA. The law defines `unlawful association' as any organisation “which has for its object any activity that is punishable under Section 153A or 153B of IPC“ --provisions dealing with threat to social and communal harmony .
Declaration of IRF as `unlawful' under Section 3 of the UAPA will force closure of its offices and interests across the country . Sources in the government said law enforcement agencies would maintain a strict surveillance on the activities of all establishments linked to IRF . As per UAPA provisions, a screening committee will have to okay the ban after reviewing the material against it.
As per the Cabinet note proposing action against IRF , Naik has been promoting enmity between religious groups and inspiring Muslim youths in India and abroad to commit terrorist acts.
The ban on IRF comes days after the NGO was served a showcause notice asking why its registration under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, 2010, should not be suspended in view of a home ministry inspection of its account finding several violations of the Act. It was earlier put on prior permission under FCRA, requiring all foreign contributions to it to be approved by the home ministry
Earlier this month, the home ministry put another NGO of Zakir Naik, the IRF Educational Trust, under `prior permission'.

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