Zakir Naik NGO Case: 15 Joint Secretaries Request Home Minister to Revoke AP Cadre IAS Officer’s Suspension

7 Sep, 2016 13:17 IST|Sakshi
Controversial televangelist Dr Zakir Naik runs the Islamic Research Foundation (IRF), for which licence has been renewed by Joint secretary GK Dwivedi. The licence renewal enables IRF to receive foreign funds.

New Delhi: In what could be an interesting development in suspension case against GK Dwivedi, AP Cadre IAS officer, all the 15 Home Ministry Joint Secretaries made a representation to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and appealed for ‘justice’ for their suspended colleague. It’s learnt that Rajnath Singh gave a patient hearing to the group of joint secretaries and assured the officers that he would look into the matter.

Joint secretary GK Dwivedi is under suspension over the renewing licence of the Islamic Research Foundation (IRF). The licence renewal enables IRF to receive foreign funds. Controversial televangelist Dr Zakir Naik runs the IRF. Such a show of support is unprecedented.

The officers, belonging to both the IAS and the IPS, sought home minister Singh’s intervention to revoke Dwivedi’s suspension, saying his juniors were responsible for the clearance to IRF to get funds under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA).

Delegation members described Dwivedi as ‘honest and hardworking,’ one who had implemented several big-ticket initiatives of the home ministry’s foreigners division. There’s increasing dissatisfaction among home ministry officers over the action taken against Dwivedi. Dwivedi later met Rajnath Singh separately to brief him his point of view and he also explained the Home Minister about the lapses that may have led to the automatic renewal of the IRF licence in the absence of any provision in the software to red-flag ‘suspect’ NGOs facing an inquiry.

According to the group of joint secretaries, Dwivedi’s juniors were empowered to give online clearance. The IRF is under the scanner for alleged incitement of Jihadi terror and religious conversions. The action initiated against Dwivedi when he was not directly responsible for renewal of the FCRA licence, they said, was ‘unfair’ and had a ‘demoralizing’ effect on other joint secretaries in the ministry.

Delegation members described Dwivedi as ‘honest and hardworking,’ one who had implemented several big-ticket initiatives of the home ministry’s foreigners division. There’s increasing dissatisfaction among home ministry officers over the action taken against Dwivedi. Dwivedi later met Rajnath Singh separately to brief him his point of view and he also explained the Home Minister about the lapses that may have led to the automatic renewal of the IRF licence in the absence of any provision in the software to red-flag ‘suspect’ NGOs facing an inquiry.

The renewal of IRF’s FCRA licence comes close on the heels of controversy about Zakir Naik. The Centre is exploring ways to take action against the Islamic NGO for allegedly promoting terrorism and causing communal disharmony by running down Hindu and other faiths to organise conversions to Islam. This made the Union Home Ministry to suspend Dwivedi and three others.

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