Bangladesh government today banned the broadcasting of India-based controversial preacher Zakir Naik’s Peace TV channel after reports that his “provocative” speeches inspired some of the militants who carried out the country’s worst terror attack at a cafe in national capital Dhaka.
The decision to ban the Mumbai-based preacher’s ‘Peace TV Bangla’ was taken during a special meeting of Cabinet Committee on Law and Order, Industry Minister AAmir Hossain Amu, who chaired the meeting said.
In the meeting, attended by senior ministers and top security officials, it was also decided to monitor the sermons given during the Friday prayers to check whether any provocative lectures are delivered, Amu told reporters.
Naik’s speeches are believed to have inspired some of the Bangladeshi militants, who killed 22 people, mostly foreigners, at an upscale restaurant in Dhaka on July 1.
The government also appealed to the Imams in the country to deliver lectures in line with real Islamic ideology of denouncing terorism and extremism, the minister said.
Besides senior ministers, the meeting was attended by chief of police and head of the elite Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), paramilitary border guards and top officials of different security agencies.
Deployment of additional security forces at export processing zone was also ordered.
Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan had yesterday said that Bangladesh’s intelligence agencies were investigating the Islamic preacher Naik.
“He is on our security scanner… Our intelligence agencies are investigating his activities as his lectures appeared provocative,” Khan had told Indian news agencies.
Khan said the investigators were also probing Naik’s financial transactions in Bangladesh.
(With inputs from agencies).