Controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik, who has come under scanner over reports that one of the Dhaka attackers was allegedly inspired by his speeches, is not returning to Mumbai on Monday, said Islamic Research Foundation (IRF).
Reports were doing rounds since Sunday evening stating that Naik will be coming to Mumbai from Saudi Arabia on Monday, and will address a press conference.
“He (Zakir Naik) is not coming to Mumbai today for sure,” said Tanvir Shaikh, trustee of IRF.
When asked about the reason for he not coming to city, Shaikh added, “Naik’s schedules are never fixed and they keep changing.”
The press conference which was scheduled to take place on Tuesday has also been cancelled. “The press conference scheduled for Tuesday, July 12 has been cancelled. Shall inform you on a fresh date for it soon,” said Zakir Naik’s spokesperson.
Meanwhile, Shiv Sena has demanded that Naik be arrested the moment he returns to India from Saudi Arabia and his ‘Peace TV’ network dismantled.
“The way fanatics like Pakistan-based Azhar Masood openly spew venom, people like Zakir Naik carry out through their social work in the name of peace by covert means…Naik has been nurturing anti-nationals for the last several years and the lessons in peace preached by him have been unmasked after the Dhaka carnage,” the Sena said in a stinging editorial in its moutpiece “Saamana”.
“The government can bring back black money when it wants to, but for now, the government should immediately destroy the financiers of Naik because the game he is playing will destroy our nation. Arrest him as soon as he returns to the country,” the Sena demanded.
One of the slain attackers of the terrorist attack in Dhaka’s high-security Gulshan area, the 22-year-old Rohan Imtiaz quoted Naik in a Facebook post in January this year where he urged “all Muslims to be terrorists”.