Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday lambasted the Congress over the alleged connection between Zakir Naik and senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh, saying that the 'darbaris' and 'raag darbaris' of the Grand Old Party have been trying to represent the controversial Indian Islamic preacher as a "messenger of peace".
"The first thing Sri Lanka government did after the Easter Sunday blasts was to ban Zakir Naik’s TV channel. Do you know who this Zakir Naik is? This is the same in whose ‘darbar’ Diggi Raja (referring to Digvijaya Singh) used to shower praises on him. Doob maro Congress walon,” said PM Modi while addressing a rally in Itarsi.
Two of Sri Lanka's major cable TV operators on Tuesday dropped Zakir Naik's Peace TV from their channel following the country's worst terror attacks on Easter Sunday which killed over 250 people.
India and Bangladesh have already banned Malaysia-based Naik's Peace TV, which has often been used by ISIS recruiters for indoctrination and brainwashing the youth.
PM Modi further said that the nation will not forgive the leaders of Congress who have been trying to represent Naik as a messenger of peace.
"Congress’ darbari and raag darbari are trying to present Zakir Naik as a messenger of peace. You tell me, will the nation forgive those who are promoting people like Zakir Naik," he said.
"This is the same Zakir Naik whom the Congress government had called to address police officials on the issue of terrorism. Someone like Naik whose words lead to blasts in Sri Lanka, people like Diggi Raja used to make him sit on their shuoulder and dance," the PM added.
"Congress has so much hatred for me that it even dreams of killing me, but entire nation is batting for me," said PM Modi.
In June 2017, Digvijaya Singh had admitted that he had met Zakir Naik at a communal harmony conference a few years ago but asserted he did not violate any law as there was no case pending against the controversial Islamic leader at that time.
Naik is wanted by India for allegedly inciting youngsters for terror activities through his hate speeches. He is being probed under terror and money laundering charges by the National Investigation Agency (NIA). He had left India in July, 2016.
Naik has been granted Malaysian permanent resident status.
The NIA had first registered a case against Naik under anti-terror laws in 2016 for allegedly promoting enmity between different religious groups
Bangladesh suspended the channel that featured Naik's preachings after media reported that militants who attacked a Dhaka cafe in 2016 were his admirers.