The NIA in 2016 had accused Naik of inciting youth to take up terror activities and giving hate speeches.
Mumbai: Amidst separate probes by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the Enforcement Direcorate (ED), controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik, who is presently in Malaysia has scotched speculations that he is set to return to India soon. Naik’s lawyer Amin Solkar said that the former has no plans of returning “at present” and that the rumour of him returning to India is “wrong”
Naik’s spokesperson issued a statement saying he would not return home till he felt “safe from unfair prosecution”. The two probe agencies have also not confirmed whether any deportation or extradition process is underway to bring him back to India. When asked if Naik has been served with any papers by Malaysian authorities related to his deportation/extradition, Mr Solkar said, “No, nothing so far.”
The NIA in 2016 had accused Naik of inciting youth to take up terror activities and giving hate speeches. The agency had filed the case against Naik and some IRF officials under section 153-A of IPC (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion) and the UAPA.
The NIA and Mumbai Police, subsequently, had also carried out searches at 10 places in Mumbai including residential premises of some of the office bearers of a foundation run by Naik. The foundation was earlier put on restricted list by the Home Ministry for alleged irregularities.
The ED had subsequently registered a case of money laundering against Naik and others after taking cognisance of the NIA case under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. Both the investigating agencies have submitted chargesheets in their cases.
Naik allegedly has a permanent resident visa for Malaysia since five years. In November last year, Malaysian authorities had said that if “India requests” for their help, they will co-ordinate with investigations against him.
The Interpol had last December turned down the NIA’s request for issuing a Red Corner Notice (RCN) against Naik after the agency failed to file chargesheet against him before formally making the request.
A RCN warrants the detention of the subject globally. At that time, Naik had said that he was “relieved by Interpol cancelling RCN” but said he would have been more relieved “had the Indian government cleared” him of all “false charges”.