The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), India’s nodal agency for Interpol, puts up any requests pertaining to notices on fugitives before it.
Mumbai: The Interpol has turned down the National Investigation Agency’s (NIA) request for issuing a Red Corner Notice (RCN) against controversial Islamic preacher and televangelist Zakir Naik after the agency failed to file chargesheet against him before formally making the request.
The development was shared by Naik’s representative Arif Mallik, who said, “As per our legal team, the reasons also include political and religious bias that led to the decision. The letter was received by them on December 11.”
Naik has been staying in Malaysia (supposedly shuttling between southeast Asian countries) since May last year. After the terror attack in Dhaka in July 2016, the NIA and Enforcement Directorate (ED) had registered cases against Naik, and he has been under investigation for spreading hatred between two communities via his sermons and money laundering.
Naik said, “I am relieved by Interpol cancelling RCN, but I would have been more relieved had the Indian government cleared me of all the false charges. I am sure that truth has a fantastic way of coming out. It has come out internationally, and it will come out in India soon.” The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), India’s nodal agency for Interpol, puts up any requests pertaining to notices on fugitives before it. When asked, if the nodal agency was informed by the Interpol, Abhishek Dayal, CBI spokesperson said, “We cannot confirm or deny the development. The case was being investigated by another agency, and they would be able to speak on the same.” The letter issued by Commission for the Control of Interpol’s Files (CCIF) stated that all the National Central Bureaus (global offices of Interpol) had been ordered to delete data pertaining to Naik from their records.
“After thorough examination of the elements before it, the commission found that the data challenged raised questions as to compliance with applicable rules. As a result, it considered that the retention of this data in the Interpol information system was not compliant with Interpol’s rules and decided that it should be deleted,” the commission’s letter stated.
The details of the decision also stated NIA’s confirmation to the commission that the chargesheet against Naik was not filed before the Indian court of law.
Meanwhile, sources in the NIA said, “A fresh request, for issuance of RCN, would be put up before the Interpol as the chargesheet has now been filed.”