Senior Home Ministry Official May Be Axed Over Nod To Zakir Naik's NGO

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Senior Home Ministry Official May Be Axed Over Nod To Zakir Naik's NGO

The Home Ministry found that Zakir Naik's NGO licence was renewed despite ongoing probe against him.


New Delhi: 

Highlights

  1. Zakir Naik is under probe for allegedly motivating acts of terrorism
  2. The FCRA license was renewed when the probe was on
  3. After the terror attack in Dhaka, Bangladesh complained about Naik
A senior joint secretary - heading the division of the Home Ministry that decides on visa policy and foreign funding of NGOs - is likely to be suspended for allowing Islamic Research Foundation (IRF), headed by Islamic TV evangelist Zakir Naik to receive foreign funds.

Mr Naik is being probed allegedly for misusing foreign donations and also for motivating terrorists. Bangladesh had told India Mr Naik's speeches could have inspired some of the Dhaka Café attackers.

Yesterday, the Home Ministry suspended three officers for allowing IRF to receive foreign funds even though a probe had been initiated. Despite the probe, the Ministry had renewed IRF's license under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act to receive funds on August 19th.

Although a joint secretary-level officer is not directly involved in renewing licenses, the fact that IRF was given permission to receive foreign funds shows lack of supervision, top sources told NDTV. The Ministry has recommended the suspension of the Joint Secretary to the Department of Training and Personnel and the Prime Minister Office. The officer in question didn't attend office today.

 "We have suspended three officers, because permission couldn't have been renewed when the probe was on," Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju told NDTV as proof of quick action.

Nonetheless, the fact remains that this crucial division is in news for wrong reasons again. Earlier in May, an officer from the same division was arrested by the CBI for allegedly removing crucial files of a Gujarat-based NGO that was being probed for misusing foreign funds.

The fresh controversy comes as an embarrassment for Home Minister Rajnath Singh. Soon after taking over as the Home Minister, several officers including the then head of the wing were shunted out. The revamp seems to have spelled more trouble for government.


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