Bangladesh government banned the broadcasting of India-based controversial preacher Zakir Naik’s Peace TV channel on Sunday, after reports that his “provocative” speeches inspired some of the militants who carried out the country’s worst terror attack at a cafe .
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 Amir Hossain Amu, who chaired the meeting said.
“We’ve decided to stop airing the channel across the country,” Xinhua news agency quoted Industries Minister Amir Hossain Amu as saying.
In the meeting, attended by senior ministers and top security officials, it was also decided to monitor the sermons given during the Fridayprayers 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.
After July 1 terror attack at a Spanish restaurant in Dhaka’s diplomatic enclave Gulshan, it was reported that two of the seven attackers who killed 22 people, including 18 foreigners, were inspired by the Islamic orator’s speeches.
The government also appealed to the Imams in the country to deliver lectures in line with real Islamic ideology of denouncing terrorism 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. Khan said the investigators were also probing Naik’s financial transactions in Bangladesh.
Indian authorities on Friday said they are examining and analysing the speeches of Naik and appropriate action will follow.
“We have taken cognizance of Zakir Naik’s speeches and necessary instructions have been issued in this regard,” Home Minister Rajnath Singh said.
Naik, who is based in Mumbai, said he “totally disagreed” that he had inspired the terror attack in Dhaka.
“There is not a single talk of mine where I encouraged one to kill another, whether Muslim or non-Muslim,” he has said in a statement.