<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Mumbai Police on Friday said it had served a notification on controversial televangelist Zakir Naik’s Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) at its Dongri office on Thursday following the order received from the Home Ministry declaring IRF an unlawful association under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) 1967.The Centre had approved the proposal to declare IRF an unlawful association under UAPA on Tuesday and banned it for five years with immediate effect. The move came after investigation by the Home Ministry found that the NGO allegedly had dubious links with Peace TV, an international Islamic channel accused of propagating terrorism. As per the police, Naik has allegedly made many provocative speeches. Naik is alleged to have transferred IRF’s foreign funds to Peace TV for making “objectionable” programmes.“Mumbai police have served the notification to the office bearers of IRF on Thursday after receiving the copy from the Ministry of Home Affairs. From now on, IRF cannot carry out any activity. The issued notification have said that it is unlawful. Action will be taken under the relevant section of UAPA, if any activity is found to be conducted at IRF,” said Mumbai Police Spokesperson and Deputy Commissioner of Police Ashok Dudhe.Mubin Solkar, advocate representing IRF when contacted said, “IRF has been served with notification around 7 pm or so on Thursday. IRF will seize to carry out any activity based on that. We will have to comply with the notification. We will study the content of the notification and what has been the basis to declare IRF unlawful. After seeing the reasoning, we will take recourse to the remedies available under law. But the statutory provision is that the government has to now refer the notification to the Unlawful Activities Prevention Tribunal within 30 days of it being served on us.”“Even if the ban was with immediate affect, they have to refer it to the tribunal, and the tribunal will issue notices to us. A hearing will be held and only if the tribunal confirms, will it come into effect. If tribunal cancels it, then it will be scrapped. Merely issuing notification under section 3 of UAPA by the government is not sufficient. The government will have to follow section 4 also which talks about referring it to the tribunal and they will have to comply there.”According to a statement issued by IRF, “We’re studying the contents of the notification and the reasons cited for the ban and we will take recourse to all remedies available in law to get the ban revoked.”A person associated with IRF said that they will be challenging the ban and central government’s notification to declare it unlawful. “The ban and the notification will certainly be challenged. In a day or two, IRF’s strategy will be clear. We may come out with a press statement later during the day which may also have what Dr Naik has to say on it,” he said. “People were working till yesterday at the IRF though the atmosphere was very gloomy. Obviously things will change there now that the notification has been given,” he added.MINISTRY SPEAKSThe Home Ministry said Naik has been promoting enmity and hatred between different religious groups and inspiring Muslim youths and terrorists in India and abroad to commit terrorist acts.It said such a divisive ideology is against India’s pluralistic and secular social fabric and it may be viewed as causing disaffection against India and thereby making it an unlawful activity.The Ministry found that the NGO allegedly had links with Peace TV, an international Islamic channel accused of propagating terrorism.
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