Chief Minister Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis on Thursday directed the Mumbai Police to start a probe into Zakir Naik’s public documents.
The Indian federal government had already called his speeches ‘highly objectionable ‘ and hinted at ‘appropriate action’ against him earlier.
“The home ministry will study (his speeches). It will take appropriate action after studying them. His speeches, as being reported in the media, are highly objectionable,” said Information and Broadcasting Minister M Venkaiah Naidu.
Naidu’s remarks came just a day after Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju hinted at action against the scholar after a scrutiny of his speeches.
“I have asked the Mumbai Police Commissioner to conduct a probe (into Naik’s speeches) and submit a report,” Chief Minister Maharashtra said on Thursday.
“Everything, including Naik’s speeches, his social media accounts, sources of funding (of a foundation run by him in Mumbai) will be scrutinised,” he added.
On Thursday, police officials were deployed outside Naik’s Mumbai office as a preventative step in the wake of the changing developments.
Zakir Naik’s speeches are reported to have inspired one of the five Bangladeshi militants involved in the latest Dhaka carnage that left 28 people dead, including 20 hostages, two police officers and six of the attackers.
Bangladeshi newspaper ‘Daily Star’ had also reported that militant Rohan Imtiaz, son of an Awami League leader, ran a propaganda on Facebook last year quoting Naik.
Naik, already banned in the United Kingdom, Canada and Malaysia, in his lecture aired on Peace TV, an international Islamic channel, had reportedly “urged all Muslims to be terrorists”.
On Wednesday, however, Zakir Naik had asserted that his speech on Islam and terror has been taken completely out of context, claiming he had only said Muslims should terrorise anti-social elements.