The government today indicated taking action against a controversial Indian Islamic preacher, who was followed by one of the five Bangladeshi militants, who killed 22 people at a restaurant in Dhaka. "Zakir Naik's speech is a matter of concern for us. Our agencies are working on this. But as a minister, I will not comment what action will be taken," Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju told reporters here.
Rijiju said India has good relations and mutual understanding with Bangladesh, especially in the matter of co-operation on fighting terrorism. "Terror can be defeated only through close coordination and by fighting together (against it)," he said.
Bangladeshi newspaper 'Daily Star' had reported that militant Rohan Imtiaz, son of an Awami League leader, ran a propaganda on Facebook last year quoting Naik. Naik, in his lecture aired on Peace TV, an international Islamic channel, had reportedly "urged all Muslims to be terrorists".
Naik, a popular but controversial Islamic orator and founder of Mumbai-based Islamic Research Foundation, is banned in the UK and Canada for his hate speech aimed against other religions. He is among 16 banned Islamic scholars in Malaysia. He is hugely popular in Bangladesh through his Peace TV, although his preachings often demean other religions and even other Muslim sects, the report said.
Another Dhaka attacker Nibras Islam used to follow two alleged suspected recruiters of Islamic State -- Anjem Choudary and Shami Witness -- on Twitter in 2014. Shami Witness is the Twitter account of 24-year-old Mehdi Biswas, who is facing trial in India for running propaganda for terror group Islamic State (ISIS). He was arrested in December 2014 following an investigation into his Twitter account, which was last active in August 2014.
Biswas was charged with operating the "single most influential pro-ISIS Twitter account". Choudary, a Pakistan-origin British citizen, is now facing a trial in England for breaking the British anti-terrorism law. His Twitter account turned inactive since August 2015 after terror charges were brought against him.