Congress MLA from Jamtara Irfan Ansari has courted controversy by showing his open support to controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik. Though he did not admit or deny for that matter, being a follower of his preaching, by saying Naik is a “learned scholar” and has many followers.
Addressing the media at Jharkhand assembly on Thursday, he said, “Hindu preacher and Yoga Guru Baba Ramdev could be tainted but not Naik.” The issue was raised by Sahebganj MLA Anant Ojha during the question hour in the ongoing monsoon session at a time when the opposition was targeting the government over issues like amendment to CNT and SPT Acts and government’s reluctance to order a probe into the alleged irregularities of recently held Rajya Sabha elections, where current Chief Minister Raghubar Das is accused of “vote fixing.”
Ojha said that in Sahebganj and Pakur areas many organizations have extended their support to Naik and Asaddudin despite the fact that Naik is accused of influencing two of the five Dhaka attackers and is a controversial figure banned by governments of the country and Bangladesh. . “At a time when the Centre has assured cooperation with Bangladesh government in looking into the credentials of Naik and his alleged influence on the militants, any support in public life amounts to supporting anti-social elements,” he argued.
Referring to the protests carried out at Pakur and Sahebganj where protesters supporting Naik were detained, he said that these were carried out without informing or seeking permission from the local administration. Ojha said that if Congress MLA Ansari is supporting Naik, separate probe must be initiated to find if he has links with the Islamic preacher. “There could be many who are influenced by religious speeches of religious leaders but once the role of any leader comes under scanner with potential to influence militants who have masterminded violence anywhere, those having links should also be cross checked,” he said.