INDIA’S National Investigation Agency (NIA) will issue a request to Malaysian authorities for the provisional arrest of fugitive Islamic preacher Dr Zakir Naik, the Times of India reported.
The English daily said NIA would also file a new request to Interpol tomorrow for a red corner notice (RCN) against Zakir, who is believed to be in Malaysia.
“On receipt of the provisional request for arrest, Malaysia, as per terms of its extradition agreement with India, will be obligated to confirm Naik’s location within its jurisdiction and arrest him pending presentation of a formal extradition request by India,” the report stated.
Citing NIA sources, the report said Malaysia would be compelled to arrest Zakir once it receives the provisional arrest request.
“Once the arrest is made, a formal request for his extradition must be moved by India within the next 60 days,” it said.
Interpol had earlier this month rejected India’s request for a red corner notice on Zakir, on the grounds that the Indian police had not filed any formal charges against the preacher. The red corner notice request was filed in May.
The NIA only filed a charge sheet against Zakir, in October for allegedly inciting youth to carry out terror activities and giving hate speeches.
“The commission finds that, at this stage of the proceedings, the issuance of a red notice for the applicant’s arrest with a view to his extradition is premature,” the Commission for the Control of Interpol’s Files reportedly said in its October decision.
India’s English news channel Times Now, meanwhile, reported Zakir’s spokesperson as claiming that Interpol had rejected India’s red corner notice due to the lack of evidence, failure of Indian authorities to follow the rule of law, and political and religious bias.
Zakir is wanted by the Indian authorities for alleged terrorism and money laundering. His Islamic Research Foundation has been outlawed in India.
He fled India in July last year after terrorists in Bangladesh claimed they were inspired by his speeches, prompting authorities to look into his activities.
Zakir, whose Indian passport was revoked in July this year, claimed Indian authorities were unfairly targeting him because he was Muslim. He said his speeches only promoted peace.
Banned from the UK in 2010, the preacher has citizenship in Saudi Arabia and was granted permanent residency in Malaysia five years ago.
The 52-year-old medical doctor has stirred controversy with his extreme brand of Islam, in which he recommended the death penalty for homosexuals and those who abandon Islam, according to media reports.
On November 8, Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said Zakir would be deported if the Indian government requested his extradition.
Zahid also said the preacher had not flouted local laws, and had not committed any crime in Malaysia.
MEANWHILE, according to Malay Mail:
We’ll act on Zakir Naik if India requests arrest, IGP pledges
KUALA LUMPUR — The police promised today it would look into the necessary actions and procedures in accordance to the law, should India submit its request to provisionally arrest on-the-run preacher Dr Zakir Naik.
Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun has confirmed that the enforcement agency has not been instructed to arrest the controversial televangelist so far.
“So far we have not received any black and white direction from any parties,” he told Malay Mail through a text message.
“We have to look into several aspects including legal and security issues pertaining to the case before a move is made.”
India’s National Investigation Agency (NIA) was reported saying it will now deliver to Malaysia a request for provisional arrest of Dr Zakir, who is believed to be in the country.
Mumbai-based Times of India said according to its extradition agreement with India, once Malaysia receives the arrest request it will be obligated to confirm Dr Zakir’s location and arrest him pending a formal extradition request.
Earlier this month, Interpol had called-off the red-corner notice against Dr Zakir requested by NIA.
Indian media outlets reported NIA as clarifying that its previous request was rejected since it was “premature,” and it has not filed any charge sheet against Dr Zakir at that time.
NIA has reportedly said it will send a fresh request to the Interpol, since the charge sheet has been filed in a special court in Mumbai last month.
The 52-year-old was reportedly charged under India’s Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for heading an “unlawful association;” he was also charged with inciting youth to take up terror acts and to join global terror groups such as the Islamic State.
– https://www.themalaysianinsight.com / Malay Mail