Employee of ‘NGO’ that donated to Rajiv Gandhi Foundation, chargesheeted for furthering ISIS propaganda

Arshi Qureshi, a man who worked as a guest manager at Zakir Naik’s Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) has been booked by an NIA court for the radicalisation of youth and motivating them to join ISIS. It has been alleged that Qureshi used to conduct training sessions for the youth to join ISIS at IRF’s Dongri office.

On August 6, 2016, Abdul Majid Abdul Qadar had lodged a complaint at Nagpada police station against Maulana Haneef, Abdul Rashid, Rizwan Khan and Arshi Qureshi, saying that they brainwashed his son into joining ISIS which is why his son Ashfaq, his wife Shamsiya Kuria and their daughter Ayesha went missing from their native place in Kasargod.

The charges against Arshi Qureshi has been formed under the UAPA (Unlawful Activities Prevention Act). The NIA probe had concluded that he worked against India by supporting ISIS and motivating youth to join the Islamic terror organisation.

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The court has charged Arshi Qureshi under sections 13 (punishment for unlawful activities) and 39 (support to a terrorist organisation).

Two other accused, Maulana Haneef and Rizwan Khan are out on bail currently and have not yet been charge-sheeted.

Interestingly, Zakir Naik’s IRF, whose employee has now been charged with furthering ISIS propaganda, had also admitted to donating to Rajiv Gandhi Foundation back in 2011. IRF had admitted to donating Rs 50 lakhs to Rajiv Gandhi Foundation (RGF). Congress had admitted to receiving the funds to Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust and not Rajiv Gandhi Foundation. Zakir Naik had maintained that the donation had gone to Rajiv Gandhi Foundation and not the Charitable Trust as claimed by Congress.

Congress had also claimed in 2016 that they had returned the money received from Zakir Naik “just a few months back”. However, IRF had denied receiving the money back from RGF.

The Chairman of Rajiv Gandhi Foundation is Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, P Chidambaram and Priyanka Gandhi as Trustees.

The current Modi government has been trying to get Zakir Naik extradited from Malaysia but the government has faced many roadblocks in that endeavour.

India had banned Zakir Naik’s Islamic Research Foundation in 2017. The court upheld that ban saying that it was done to protect the sovereignty of the country.

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