Naik’s spokesperson had recently issued a statement, saying he would not return home till he felt safe from unfair prosecution.
Mumbai: While Malaysian authorities have said that they would not deport controversial preacher Zakir Naik to India unless he creates a problem as he has a permanent residency status there, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) that is probing him and his aides in a money-laundering probe said it would soon move for his extradition via the Centre to strengthen India’s case to get him back.
ED sources said that while Malaysia may not be keen on deportation, its authorities and courts would have to consider the evidence against him for extradition on merit.
The ED and the National Investigation Agency (NIA) are probing Naik in separate investigations, since 2016. Malaysian prime minister, Mahathir Mohamad, recently said at a news conference in administrative capital Put-rajaya outside Kuala Lum-pur, “As long as he is not creating any problem, we will not deport him beca-use he has been given permanent residency status.” An ED official, when asked about the Malaysian stand, said, “We will not go by what Malaysian authorities say to media on this. ED has a case against him and needs to question him with regard to the allegations against him.” He said, “We will soon move an extradition request for him that will have to be acted upon by their authorities and courts, on merit.”
Naik’s spokesperson had recently issued a statement, saying he would not return home till he felt safe from unfair prosecution. The NIA, in 2016, had accused Naik of inciting youth to take up terror activities and giving hate speeches.
The agency had filed a case against Naik and some IRF officials under section 153-A of IPC (promoting enmity between different groups on grou-nds of religion) and the UAPA.
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.