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Will look into cleric Zakir Naik, says Centre

Will look into cleric Zakir Naik, says Centre

New Delhi: Senior Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu Thursday has said that the government will study Bangladesh's request that India examine the speeches of controversial Mumbai-based preacher Zakir Naik.

"The Home Ministry will study and take a decision," Naidu said.

Bangladesh has asked India to examine the speeches of controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik after reports that his 'hate speech' inspired one of the five Bangladeshi militants, who hacked to death 22 people at an upscale cafe in Dhaka's diplomatic enclave last week.

"Already there are certain complaints from the Maulanas of Bangladesh that his (Naik) teachings are not in line with the Quranic teachings and Hadith," information minister Hasanul Haq Inu said.

"How much Naik's teachings influenced the terrorists that are to be investigated. We are investigating the whole matter," he said.

Requesting the Indian government to examine the teachings of controversial preacher, Inu said: "I also request the Indian government and information minister that they also examine the context of Dr Naik's teachings."

One of the Bangladeshi attackers, suspected to be Rohan Imtiaz - the son of a politician of Bangladesh's ruling Awami League - ran a propaganda on Facebook last year quoting 50-year-old Naik, a Mumbai-based doctor and an Islamic televangelist, Bangladeshi newspaper 'Daily Star' reported.

Naik, in his lecture aired on Peace TV, an international Islamic channel, had reportedly "urged all Muslims to be terrorists".

Naik, a popular but controversial Islamic orator and founder of Mumbai-based Islamic Research Foundation, is banned in the UK and Canada for his 'hate speech' aimed at other religions. He is among 16 banned Islamic scholars in Malaysia.

He is hugely popular in Bangladesh through his Peace TV, although his preachings often demean other religions and even other Muslim sects, the report said.

Islamist gunmen had stormed the upscale Holey Artisan café popular with foreigners in Dhaka's diplomatic enclave last Friday, killing 22 people.

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