Another huge bounty placed on Zakir Naik’s head

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PETALING JAYA: Another bounty, this time amounting to RM294,500, has been offered for controversial preacher Dr Zakir Naik’s head, The Indian Express reported.

According to the Indian daily, the former leader of a right-wing Hindu nationalist group Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), Sadhvi Prachi, has offered 50 lakh rupees, explaining that the sum she pledged was because Zakir was not a religious preacher, but “a terrorist”.

She also urged the Indian Government to probe alleged terror links of “such preachers working in madrasahs” across the country. A madrasah is a religious school.

This is the second bounty placed on Zakir’s head.

Yesterday, a Shia group in India also offered RM90,000 (Rs15 lakhs) for the Mumbai-based preacher.

The Hindustan Times reported that the group, Hussaini Tiger, had promised a reward in the afterlife for anyone who can kill Zakir.

The group’s president, Syed Kalbe Hussain Naqvi, called Zakir a “khalnayak” (Hindi for villain) and a “kafir” for insulting “the Prophet of Muslims”.

Zakir came under the media spotlight after it was revealed that two of the gunmen who attacked a cafe in Dhaka, which left 20 dead, were inspired by the preacher.

Following the attack, both India and Bangladesh have now launched investigations into the controversial preacher. Muslim ulama from the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, meanwhile, want the popular preacher arrested, with a blanket ban on his TV network Peace TV.

Earlier, in April this year, Zakir created an uproar among non-Muslims when he came to conduct a series of lectures in Malaysia, with many claiming he had demeaned the religions of others in his sermons.

They also demanded Zakir be barred from speaking as his sermons could harm the harmony in Malaysia’s multi-religious society.