Islamic hate-speech preacher Zakir Naik, along with two Pakistani hardline preachers have been named as accused in an FIR filed by the National Investigation Agency in connection with the high-profile “love jihad” case, involving the daughter of a Chennai-based businessman and the son of a top Bangladeshi politician, belonging to former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia’s Bangladesh Nationalist Party.
It has been alleged that Islamic hate-speech preacher Zakir Naik, along with the two Pakistani hardliners, were allegedly involved in radicalisaton of the girl and her forcible conversion to Islam.
The case pertains to the marriage of the Chennai businessman’s daughter with the son of a Bangladeshi politician. The father of the daughter had complained with the Chennai Central Crime Branch in May that his daughter, who was studying in London, was radicalised and forcibly converted to Islam. He had also alleged that his daughter was kidnapped by Bangladeshi men and spirited away to Bangladesh. The girl’s father had accused Nafees, the son of the Bangladeshi politician of abducting and trafficking his daughter.
Bangladeshi politician’s son accused of kidnapping and sexually abusing the Indian girl
The main accused in the case is Nafees, son of Shakhawat Hossain Bakul, a BNP leader and former Member of Parliament. Bakul was sent to Bangladesh parliament from Narsingdi-4 as a BNP candidate in 1991 and 2001. He had been arrested from Khaleda Zia’s residence in December 2013. Four years later, in June 2017, a lawsuit was brought against him by a businessman for extortion.
In his complaint, the girl’s father claimed that his daughter was lured by the prime accused Nafees to get into a relationship. She was then trafficked to Bangladesh and forced to embrace Islam. There, she was held in captivity so that she could not speak about the atrocities committed against her. However, she somehow managed to get hold of a phone and called her father, recounting her ordeal with him. The girl had alleged that she had been sexually abused in Bangladesh and is facing constant harassment.
The victim’s father Chennai is a businessman in Royapuram and has migrated from North India only a few years ago. The father contacted Nafees after the daughter’s phone call and asked to release her daughter. However, when Nafees demanded money in return, the father filed a complaint with the Chennai Police Commissioner. The matter was then referred to the Central Crime Branch (CCB).
According to the Chennai Police Commissioner Mahesh Kumar Aggarwal, the case was transferred to the National Investigation Agency(NIA) because it involved investigations in foreign countries. Besides Zakir Naik, the Pakistani-origin hardline preachers named in the NIA FIR are Yasir Qadhi and Nauman Ali Khan, both based out of the United States.