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We don't ban individuals: India on controversial Islamist preacher Zakir Naik

Source: PTI
July 05, 2016 20:25 IST

The government on Tuesday remained non-committal on taking action against a controversial Indian Islamic preacher, who was followed by one of the five Bangladeshi militants, who killed 22 people at a restaurant in Dhaka.

"We don't ban individuals. We ban organisations. So far, there is no formal communication from Bangladesh. If they request us, we will examine what can be done," Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju told reporters.

According to a Bangladesh newspaper, militant Rohan Imtiaz, son of an Awami League leader, ran a propaganda on Facebook last year quoting controversial Indian Islamic preacher Zakir Naik.

Naik, in his lecture in Peace TV reportedly "urged all Muslims to be terrorists".

Naik, a popular but controversial Islamic orator and founder of Mumbai-based Islamic Research Foundation, is banned in the United Kingdom and Canada for his hate speech aimed against other religions. He is among 16 banned Islamic scholars in Malaysia.

He is hugely popular in Bangladesh through his Peace TV although his preaching often demeans other religions and even other Muslim sects, the report said.

Another Dhaka attacker Nibras Islam used to follow two alleged suspected recruiters of Islamic State -- Anjem Choudary and Shami Witness -- on Twitter in 2014.

Shami Witness is the Twitter account of 24-year-old Mehdi Biswas, who is also facing trial in India for running propaganda for the Islamic State. He was arrested in December 2014 following an investigation into his Twitter account which was last active in August 2014.

Biswas was charged for operating the "single most influential pro-Islamic State Twitter account".

Choudary, a Pakistan-origin British citizen, is now facing trial in England for breaking the British anti- terrorism law. His twitter account became inactive from August 2015 after terror charges were brought against him.

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