Prime News, National (New Delhi), May 27:- Controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik received crores of rupees as funds in his and his trusts’ bank accounts from unidentified “well-wishers” over the years for his speeches that spread “hatred and incited Muslim youths” to take up terrorism, an ED probe has found. The Islamic Research Foundation (IRF), Mumbai-based charity trust promoted and controlled by Naik, “allegedly received funds in the form of donations and zakat (a form of almsgiving in Islam) from domestic as well as overseas donors from countries like the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman and Malaysia among others,” the Enforcement Directorate (ED) said.
According to the ED probe report accessed by the PTI, the IRF maintained various bank accounts in which funds from the donors were being deposited and they were controlled by Zakir Abdul Karim Naik, the 53-year-old Islamic evangelist’s full name. “These bank accounts are held with Citi Bank, DCB Bank Ltd and Union Bank of India. Most of the amounts received by IRF are in the form of donations or zakat from domestic as well as overseas donors. The funds are received through banking channels,” it said. Naik is absconding from the probe and at present is stated to be in Malaysia.
As per the ED report, the “donors remain unidentified as their names in the receipts are mentioned as ‘well-wishers’. As the donations are made by cash, only the names of the donors are mentioned on the receipts without disclosing their contact details, which raises suspicion of being bogus or sham entries”. The agency said its probe found that the total quantum of funds received in the bank accounts of IRF, from 2003-04 to 2016-17, is to the tune of Rs 64.86 crore.
“Out of these funds, a majority of the funds were utilised for organising ‘peace conferences’, purchase of capital equipment, payment of salaries and other miscellaneous expenses. An annual event ‘Peace Conference’ was held by the IRF under the leadership of Naik,” the Enforcement Directorate said. “It is during these peace conferences that provocative speeches were made and religious conversion to Islam was also propagated,” the ED charged. (MR, Inputs: Agencies).