On 12 July, Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) MP ET Mohammed Basheer said that Islamic preacher Zakir Naik was being targeted for political motives.
Speaking to ANI, Basheer said that Naik has not hidden any of his works and is complete transparent about his intentions.
"He has written books published in many languages across the world. He has not hidden any of his works and they are all in the open. It is very clear according to our assessment that he is not instrumental in making any kind of terrorist activities in our country. So, I have categorically told on behalf of my party that he cannot be branded as a terrorist because his activities are crystal clear and transparent," he said.
Asserting that he has read all of Naik's works, Basheer added that his books do not have content that promotes terrorism.
He also said that the preacher was being branded and hunted, adding that he was victim to a strong agenda against him as he is a very strong preacher of the Islamic principles.
"Before proving that he is inspiring people for any kind of terrorism, there is no meaning of branding him. He is being politically targeted and an innocent man is being branded. He has said himself that Islamic State is anti-Islam," said Basheer.
Meanwhile, Naik has said that he has been misquoted by the media as most of the clips shown on the television and his print statements are either out of context or doctored.
Issuing a statement, Naik expressed shock at the 'media trial on him regarding the recent terrorist attack that took place in Dhaka.'
"According to me, the media is the most important weapon in the world. It can convert a hero into villain or even a villain into a hero. I'm shocked at the media trial on me regarding the recent terrorist attack that took place in Dhaka Bangladesh on 1st July 2016. Most of the clips shown on the television of myself are either out of context, half statements or doctored. So are my statements in the print media," he said.
Following the Centre's tough stand on Zakir Naik's controversial comments on terrorism, nine teams from the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), the Intelligence Bureau (IB) and other agencies earlier began scanning the former's activities, while special teams scanned every footage of his speeches.
Sources stated that Naik may be banned soon and the Centre has sought fresh legal opinion regarding the controversial preacher. The government is most likely gearing up to make a strong legal case against Naik.
Naik is expected to give a press conference through Skype at the World Trade Centre in Cuffe Parade, Mumbai, on 14 July.