Bengaluru, Nov 23: A Rs 80,000 scholarship from the Zakir Naik run Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) was given to a person called Abu Anas in October 2015. Three months later Anas, an engineer, was on his way to Syria to fight alongside the ISIS. He was, however, arrested.
Zakir Naik's NGO, the IRF has been banned by the Union Home Ministry for promoting acts of terror and indulging in conversions. In this context, it would not be wrong to ask if the IRF along with a scholarship was also selling a radical ideology.
Ideology for sale
The case of Anas is interesting. Radicalised and determined he decided to give his job as an engineer to take the ISIS path. The answer that the NIA is looking for is whether the scholarship given to him had anything to do with his decision of joining the ISIS.
An officer in the NIA tells OneIndia that it may not be a mere coincidence. The two incidents could well be related. "It is a well known fact that several terrorists have confessed they were inspired by Zakir Naik's speeches. By taking a scholarship, a person become indebted to an organisation. This could have been a turning point for Anas," the officer also notes.
The funding and the pattern are crucial to the probe. Whether funds were being pumped into the IRF so that it would undertake radicalisation exercises is one part of the probe.
"Were only Naik's speeches the trigger that lead to the radicalisation or did funds have a role to play in it is another part of the probe. Further, the complaints about the IRF being involved in large scale conversions is also a subject matter of investigation," the NIA official also added.