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Venkaiah Naidu asks if Zakir Naik is boss of Indian Muslims

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Hyderabad, Sep 11 (PTI) Terming as "totally absurd" theallegations levelled by controversial Islamic preacher ZakirNaik against the government, Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidutoday accused him of taking shelter under religion andwondered if he is the "boss" of all Indian Muslims. "Is Zakir Naik the boss of all Indian Muslims? Whatnonsense he is talking. He has to answer the criticism abouthimself. What is that Muslims have got to do with him," theInformation and Broadcasting Minister said here. In a four-page ‘open letter’ released in Mumbaiyesterday, Naik had asked the government what exactly has hedone to earn the tag of "Dr Terror" and sought "logicalanswers" to charges levelled against him. Naidu termed as "a totally absurd charge" the allegationsby the Islamic televangelist that it is not just an attack onhim, but an attack against Indian Muslims. "He does something wrong…and then government wants totake some action, if at all and you try to take shelterunder religion," the Minister said. Taking strong exception to Naik’s allegations, thesenior BJP leader said, "This is the way..the new technique.People commit crimes or commit mistakes and then they try totake cover under religion or caste, or the region or thelanguage so that they get some support for the mistakes theyhave committed." The founder of Peace TV, run by his Mumbai-based IRF,Naik has come under the scanner of security agencies after aBangladeshi newspaper had reported that one of the attackersof the July 1, 2016, terror strike in Dhaka was "inspired" byhis speeches. PTI VVK GKDV

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