NRI televangelist Zakir Naik on Friday termed the five-year ban on his NGO Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) as "communal", and an attack on Muslims, peace, democracy and justice.
In a detailed three-page "open letter" issued here, he alleged that it was timed to coincide with the recent demonetization "fiasco" to prevent resistance and divert the attention of the media.
Naik, 51, presently at an undisclosed location abroad, issued the statement in response to the recent ban on IRF for five years and declaring it as a terror outfit under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) by the centre.
"It is now proven that the decision to ban IRF was taken months ago and it was a communal decision. Before investigations were done, even before reports submitted, the ban was already decided. IRF was to be banned. Whether it was owing to my religion or some other reason, does not matter," Naik said in his statement.
However, he lamented that his completely lawful work of 25 years has been banned, which is most unfortunate for India.
Since past few days, Naik's activities are being probed by the NIA and complaints have been lodged against him under the sections of the Indian Penal Code and UAPA for various charges.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)