Mumbai: The Shiv Sena on Monday asked the central government to abandon plans to catch mafia dons like Dawood Ibrahim and instead book controversial Mumbai-based Islamic preacher Zakir Naik.
“Stop making announcements of dragging back Dawood or Tiger Memon from Pakistan… Now concentrate on Naik, this hidden enemy at home… Arrest him and throw him in the same cell as (hanged 26/11 Pakistani terrorist) Ajmal Kasab,” the Sena said in its mouthpiece “Saamana”.
Naik is under the scanner following revelations that two of the militants who massacred 20 people, including an Indian, at a cafe in Dhaka on July 1 drew inspiration from his speeches.
The Sena — a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ally both at the Centre and in Maharashtra — said until now the National Investigation Agency, Central Bureau of Investigation and police in Maharashtra and Goa were “hounding” Sanatan Sanstha, a rightwing Hindu organisation.
“What about the propaganda and literature of Naik — it is directly fuelling separatist elements in the country. It seems he is trying to become a messiah of Muslims by pushing them into hell. A new type of unrest and ‘Pakistan’ is being created in India,” the Sena said.
It urged the BJP governments in New Delhi and Mumbai “to display guts” and ban Naik and his Peace TV and demolish his propaganda machinery.
The Sena said an Islamic State den was uncovered in Hyderabad and its chief Ibrahim Yezda confessed to attending Naik’s “peace camp” for 10 days.
It accused the Indian agencies of developing cold feet while taking action against Naik.