Zakir Naik, the controversial televangelist under scanner of investigative agencies for terror connection, has cast a shadow over Sonia Gandhi-led Rajiv Gandhi Foundation. At the centre of a storm is a donation of whopping Rs 50 lakh allegedly made by Naik’s Islamic Research Foundation in 2011. Though the amount has now been returned after an emergency meeting of the trust this July, but damage was already done, politically.
BJP’s RP Singh tweeted about it raising the terror-vangelists’ connection with the high and mighty. Speaking to India Today, he alleged, “This returning is to fool people. Now investigation against Naik is in full swing, they realised it’s safer to return it. Digvijay called Naik man of peace. Now we know what made him say so.”
The Congress visibly embarrassed by its party Presidents name being dragged into a controversy was quick to hit back. Defending the organisation led by Sonia Gandhi, Senior Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi said, “Do you expect to know that Zakir Naik will be under scanner after years? One needs to be an astrologist for that. The moment investigation against Naik began, the donation was returned.”
But with NIA, Home Ministry and Intelligence Bureau after Zakir Naik and the government seriously considering to slap terror charges against him, it has definitely embarrassed Congress when news of its secret fund return came into public domain.
The Centre is all set to slap terror charges on Zakir Naik for motivating over 50 people accused in terrorism-related cases, while declaring his Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) as an “unlawful” organisation. Sources in home ministry suggest it has decided to book Naik under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) for his speeches.
Among the alleged terrorists who have recorded statements against Naik are Feroze Deshmukh, a former IRF employee, Qateel Ahmed Siddiqui, an Indian Mujahideen member and alleged IS recruiter Afsha Jabeen.
For now this latest revelation has not only put Congress in an embarrassing position but raised questions on how Zakir Naik used to operate over the years.
Courtesy: India Today