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NEW DELHI: The government on Tuesday banned Islamic Research Foundation (IRF), the NGO of controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik+ , as an 'unlawful organisation' for five years with immediate effect. The ban has been enforced under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and approved at a meeting of the Union Cabinet.

The ban has been enforced under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and approved at a meeting of the Union Cabinet. TOI had earlier reported that the government intended to ban IRF+ citing Naik's "objectionable and subversive" speeches, the criminal cases filed against him and other members of IRF in Mumbai and Sindhudurg in Maharashtra and Kerala, as well as his "dubious" links with Peace TV that allegedly features "communal" and "pro-jihad" content as grounds for such a ban.

Declaration of IRF as 'unlawful' under Section 3 of the UAPA will force closure of its offices and interests across the country. According to sources in the home ministry, there was a solid case+ for proscribing IRF based on inputs and material shared by the Maharashtra government and the central intelligence agencies.