After the National Investigative Agency's request to revoke the passport of televangelist Zakir Naik, Ministry of External Affairs invalidated the passport on Tuesday. We have taken action on that request to revoke the passport.
The NIA had written to the Mumbai passport office, on June 29, 2017, seeking revocation of Naik's passport on the ground that he was "not cooperating with them in the investigation pending against him".
The development comes months after a special NIA court issued a non-bailable warrant against the Mumbai-based controversial Islamic preacher.
Naik was on a tour overseas at that time and has since not returned to India allegedly to evade arrest under various charges, including inspiring militant activities and money-laundering.
Naik had his passport renewed in January last year and it was valid for 10 years. However, Naik failed to respond to this notice as well, due to which his passport has been revoked.
NIA has registered criminal case against him at its Mumbai branch under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
The Interpol was approached against Naik after a year- long probe during which the NIA gathered evidence of his IRF and Peace TV being used to allegedly promote hatred between different religious groups.
Indian and Bangladeshi law enforcement agencies had launched a probe against the speeches of Naik, whose sermons were said to have allegedly inspired two of the Dhaka attackers who killed more than 20 hostages previous year in a café in Bangladesh.
The government has already banned his NGO called Islamic Research Foundation and declared it as an unlawful association.