New Delhi,[India] Sept. 11 (ANI): The Janata Dal (United) on Sunday said called for transparency on the NGO run by the Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) of the controversial Islamic speaker Zakir Naik and urged all political parties to stay away from such people.
“There must be transparency if a party receives fund by any organisation. There must be transparency for all parties…not for any one party. There must be a proper scrutiny of the funds given to like-minded people for a special reason,” JD (U) leader Ali Anwar told ANI.
Resonating similar sentiments, another JD (U) leader K.C. Tyagi said, “The political parties should keep themselves away from people like Zakir Naik and his organisation. If the Congress returns the amount, then this matter should be considered as closed.”
JD (U) leader Sharad Yadav called for a probe into the matter.
“If he has broken the law then there should be a probe. Playing ‘political kabaddi’ is not right,” he added.
Union Law and Justice Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad yesterday questioned the Congress on Naik’s NGO and asked how the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation received a sum of Rs. 50 lakhs from the Islamic preacher in 2011.
Prasad said several Congress leaders including former prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh, Montek Singh Ahluwalia, P. Chidambaram, Rahul Gandhi, Suman Dubey, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Ashok Ganguly were associated with the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation back in 2011.
The Congress initially denied that it had accepted a donation, but later claimed that the money did not come to the RGF but to an allied entity called the RGCT and the same was returned to the IRF.
However, an IRF spokesman quoted Naik as saying that the money had gone to the RGF and not to the charitable trust and that this amount was yet to be refunded.
Four officials, including a Joint Secretary of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), were suspended a few days ago for renewing the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) registration of Naik’s NGO despite an ongoing investigation against him.
Naik is banned in the U.K. and Canada for his alleged hate speeches aimed against other religions.
He is among the 16 banned Islamic scholars in Malaysia. He is also accused of radicalizing and attracting youth for terror acts and has come under the scanner of the security agencies.