IUML bats for Zakir Naik, says he is being hunted

Kozhikode, (Kerala) July 10 (IANS) Controversial Mumbai-based Islamic preacher Zakir Naik on Sunday got support from Kerala’s Indian Union Muslim League, which claimed he had always spoken against terrorism and was now being “hunted”.

Addressing reporters here after a meeting of the leaders of the IUML, the Congress-led United Democratic Front’s second-biggest constituent, its Lok Sabha member E.T. Mohammed Basheer said that Naik is being hunted.

“The Maharashtra Chief Minister (Devendra Fadnavis) and some Union Ministers are prejudiced in their outlook that something is wrong and this is against the principles of expression of freedom. He has always taken a position against terrorism,” he said.

The central government on Friday launched a multi-pronged probe into controversies around the speeches and “online sermons” of Naik with the Union Home Ministry seeking investigation by intelligence agencies while Information and Broadcasting minister M. Venkaiah Naidu personally met top officials on the issue.

Naik, who heads NGO Islamic Research Foundation (IRF), also runs Peace TV channel but the government on Saturday said that it is not permitted by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to downlink and warned the cable operators that action will be taken for transmitting it.



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