A public Islamic speaker has asked by the Bombay High Court to appear before the Vengurla police in Sindhudurg district and get his statement recorded in connection with a case registered there for allegedly hurting religious sentiments.
A division bench of Justices P V Hardas and Mridula Bhatkar was on May 10 hearing a petition filed by Zakir Naik, a self-proclaimed philosopher and public speaker on Islam and comparative religion, expressing apprehension of threat to his life in the event that he is taken to the police station.
Advocate Mubin Solkar, appearing for Zakir, argued that the petitioner apprehends danger to his life and a law and order situation if he is taken to the police station for recording of his statement.
Public prosecutor Revati Dere, however, told the court that whenever the accused is summoned to the police station, he arrives there wsith hundreds of his followers thus leading to a law and order situation.
The bench then directed Naik to go to the Vengurla police station accompanied with only three persons including his lawyer and get his statement recorded.
“The petitioner (Zakir Naik) shall co-operate with the police machinery in order to ensure that law and order is maintained,” the court said.
Several cases have been registered against Naik for making speeches that have allegedly hurt religious sentiments.
Zakir Naik is the founder and president of the Islamic Research Foundation, a non-profit organisation that owns the Peace TV channel based in Dubai.
The bench has posted the matter for further hearing on June 11