New Delhi: The Ministry of Home Affairs in a notification issued on Wednesday has declared the Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) an unlawful association and banned it for five years.

The MHA notification stated that the speeches of Zakir Naik, founder of the IRF, were objectionable as he has been extolling known terrorists, and also proclaiming that every Muslim should be a terrorist.

The notification further stated that the IRF founder has also been promoting forcible conversion of the youth to Islam, justifying the suicide bombings, posting objectionable comments against Hindus, Hindu Gods and other religions, which are derogatory to other religions.

"Naik has also been further inspiring the Muslim youth and terrorists in India and abroad to commit terrorist acts," added the notification by the MHA.

The notification also stated that the unlawful activities of IRF, its members as well as sympathizers were noticed in Gujarat, Karnataka, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Kerala, Maharashtra and Odisha.

Before the anti-terror tribunal, Solicitor General submitted that there is overwhelming evidence on record to show that Zakir Naik continues to reach out to his followers in India by propagating his teachings through videos and making provocative speeches and lectures disseminated via various social media channels.

The MHA notification further stated that the material on record before this Tribunal by a senior government officer in sealed cover shows that trustees of IRF and especially Zakir Naik continue to travel to Gulf Countries for the purpose of raising funds and have opened trusts, NGOs, shell companies, all of which are being used for the sole purpose of radicalizing individuals and especially the youth of Muslim community.

"These activities constitute a form of symbolic yet manifested invasion through the deliberate perpetuation of hate in the community done by IRF and its office bearers. Therefore, the aforesaid material shows that there exists sufficient cause to hold IRF an unlawful association," added the notification.