Former Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Sadhvi Prachi on Wednesday announced a Rs 50-lakh reward to whoever "beheads" Islamic preacher Zakir Naik. "I have announced the reward because Zakir Naik is not a religious preacher, but a terrorist," she told The Indian Express. Prachi, however, clarified that she was offering the reward in her individual capacity, and not on behalf of the Hindu organisation.
Naik has been under scrutiny since it emerged that his speeches had inspired one of the militants behind the Dhaka cafe attack on July 1. While the Maharashtra intelligence department gave the televangelist a clean chit, saying they could not make out a case against him, the Centre is still looking into sources funding his Islamic Research Organisation.
Sadhvi has urged the government to investigate possible terror links of all "such preachers working in madrasas" in the country. The pro-Hindutva leader also claimed that soon after her announcement, a caller named Shahid had threatened to kidnap her.
Her Rs 50-lakh offer comes after a group Hussaini Tigers placed a bounty of Rs 15 lakh on Naik. "He [Naik] is a 'khalnayak’'. He has insulted the Prophet, and whosoever kills him will be rewarded not only in life…but will also get a cash reward from us," Chief of the Hussaini Tigers Syed Kalbe Hussain Naqvi had said on Facebook.
Moreover, Naik has cancelled the press briefing he was scheduled to give via Skype, claiming that authorities of the venue – Mehfil Hall in South Mumbai – backed out at the last minute, PTI reported. Naik had decided to hold the press briefing via video conference after multiple venues allegedly cancelled the event because of pressure from Mumbai Police.