IRF has Rs 100 crore worth of realty, NIA to question Zakir Naik on bank transactions (file pics)
Controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik is likely to be questioned by National Investigation Agency (NIA) that is scanning his 78 bank accounts, and real estate investments worth at least Rs 100 crore in and around Mumbai by him and his associates.
Atleast Rs 100 crore have been allegedly invested in real estate by Naik and his associates in and around Mumbai.
The probe agency, which had in November last year registered a case against Naik and others under anti-terror law for allegedly promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony. The probe agency has also found roles of 23 entities including individuals and corporates linked to the preacher, NIA sources said on Thursday.
The NIA has questioned around 20 associates of Naik, including his sister Nailah Naushad Noorani, in connection with its investigation, they said.
"We have sought certain documents including income tax returns and others. Besides this, 78 bank accounts in different banks of the country, are also being scanned. Once examination is done, we intend to summon Zakir Naik for questioning," a source said.
The sources said that the agency has written to the banks seeking details of these accounts including transactions.
The NIA officials have found a complicated movement of money in the financial transactions made by people involved in the case, they said, adding that the role of Mumbai-based Harmony Media Pvt Ltd--involved in production of religious and educative videos--is being looked into in this case.
Naik's Non-Government Organisation (NGO), Islamic ResearchFoundation (IRF), has been banned by the central governmentunder Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
The speeches of Naik, who is currently out of the country apparently to evade arrest, are banned in the UK, Canada andin Malaysia. The Home Ministry has found that the NGO was allegedly having dubious links with Peace TV, an international Islamicchannel, accused of propagating terrorism. According to the Home Ministry, Naik, who heads the IRF, has allegedly made many provocative speeches and engaged interror propaganda.