MUMBAI – Zakir Naik’s Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) has been banned by the Indian government for five years.

According to Indian media, the government termed Zakir Naik’s IRF as ‘illegal’, banning it for five years on Tuesday.

The ban on IRF has been enforced under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and approved at a meeting of the Union Cabinet.

Indian government declared IRF ‘unlawful’ under Section 3 of the UAPA, which will force the closure of its offices and interests across the country.

The Cabinet note regarding the proposal of banning IRF said Zakir Naik has been promoting enmity between religious groups and inspiring Muslim youth in India and abroad to commit terrorist acts.

Earlier the government has put IRF Educational Trust, promoted by Zakir Naik, under prior permission category, thus preventing it from receiving foreign funds without getting the nod from the central government.

Naik is banned in UK and Canada for his hate speeches aimed against other religions. His name cropped up after two of the Dhaka attackers had claimed that they were inspired by Zakir Naik who is largely popular in Bangladesh.