Islamic preacher and founder of Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) Zakir Naik has denied media reports that he will be arriving in India Wednesday night terming them as “totally baseless and false”.
In a statement issued, Naik said: “The news of my coming to India is totally baseless and false. I have no plans to come to India till I don’t feel safe from unfair prosecution. Insha Allah when I feel that the government will be just and fair, I will surely return to my homeland.”
The NIA said they have no information about Naik returning to India today. “We have no information about this. We are verifying the news reports,” an NIA spokesperson said.
News channel NDTV, quoting sources in the Malaysian government, said Naik could be deported as early as tonight.
Fifty-one-year-old Naik, left India on July 1, 2016, after terrorists in neighbouring Bangladesh claimed that they were inspired by his speeches. He is currently living in Malaysia. In December last year, the Interpol rejected India’s request to issue a red corner notice (RCN) seeking his deportation.
In November 2016, the NIA had registered a case against the televangelist at its Mumbai branch under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. His Mumbai-based NGO, Islamic Research Foundation (IRF), has already been declared an unlawful association by the Union Home Ministry.
Naik is wanted by the NIA in a case of alleged “incitement for terror activities”.
Sources told The Indian Express that Interpol rejected the RCN on the ground that when the request was sent by NIA through CBI, there was no chargesheet filed in any court in India against Naik. NIA had made the request in May 2017 but filed a chargesheet against Naik only in October that year.