IRF Ban: Government notification based on conjecture not evidence

November 20, 2016 by  
Filed under newsletter-india

Mumbai, November 19, 2016: The Ministry of Home Affairs, government of India on Thursday issued notification to ban Dr. Zakir Naik founded Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) with immediate effect shows the decision is taken more so due to apprehension of influencing youths towards radicalization than on the basis of any hard evidences of any such influence.

The four-page notification cites five cases – two recent cases registered under sections of UAPA against Arshi Qureshi, office bearer of IRF and three FIRs registers against Dr Naik in 2012 under section 153- A of IPC.

However, the notification lacks any case against Dr Zakir Naik under UAPA. The present cases cited against him arises out of one purported posting on his Facebook account that allegedly was in derogatory in nature. Such case cannot in itself amount to attract ban on the organization that he heads.

On the contrary, there are many people of other NGOs who have more stringent cases registered against them than these but they continue to enjoy favour of the govenmen. One such example for instance is VHP leader Vinay Katiyar.

What the notification specifically says is the ‘apprehension’ that the government has of youth getting radicalized if IRF is not banned with immediate effect. To satisfy its strong apprehension, the notification mentions some out of context quotes of Dr Naik, which he has clarified multiple times, from his long speeches.

One of the lawyer having decade-old experience in handling UAPA cases says on the condition of maintaining anonymity, “this is the weakest ground that the government used for banning any organization. No organization can be banned on the basis of apprehension but strong evidences are needed to prove that its continuation is a threat to the country, which in this case is absilolutely not there. This ban will not stand before tribunal if IRF challenges.”

– tcn

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