The Maharashtra State Intelligence Department has given a clean chit to Islamic preacher Zakir Naik, saying they cannot arrest the televangelist once he returns to India as they could not make out a case against him, The Hindu reported. The preacher, however, has issued a statement saying he will address the media via Skype on July 14, after hotels allegedly cancelled his press conference.
Chief Minister of Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis has directed Commissioner of Mumbai Police Dattatray Padsalgikar to launch an investigation into Naik and submit a report. The investigating team, which studied hundreds of YouTube videos and speeches Naik delivered in and outside India, said there was no concrete evidence against him. "For now, we are closely monitoring him,” a senior police officer said.
Meanwhile, Naik's public relations office accused Mumbai Police of cancelling venues for his press conference. Police officers, however, denied refusing permission. According to The Times of India, Thursday's press conference will also be addressed by some eminent personalities. "It will include some Bollywood members, lawyers and members of NGOs," Naik's spokesperson said.
The televangelist has been under the government's lens ever since allegations arose that he had inspired one of the terrorists behind the Dhaka restaurant attack on July 1. He was also accused of meeting two brothers from Kerala who were among those who went missing from West Asia and are feared to have joined the Islamic State group.