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Sunday 7 June 2020

Zakir Naik denies reports of being extradited to India

Naik is facing various cases, including for hate speech and money laundering, in India and has been staying abroad to evade arrest

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Mumbai: Minutes after reports claimed that controversial preacher Zakir Naik is being extradited to India from Malaysia in a major diplomatic win for the government at the Centre, he denied the news and termed it “baseless”.
Zakir Naik, the controversial Islamic preacher who has been staying abroad to evade arrest in various cases in India, on Wednesday said he would not return home till he felt “safe from unfair prosecution”.

 

“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,” said Naik in the statement.

He added that he would “surely return to my homeland” when he feels “that the government will be just and fair.”

Naik is facing various cases, including for hate speech and money laundering, in India and has been staying abroad to evade arrest.

Naik, a 51-year-old medical doctor, has in his inflammatory speeches recommended the death penalty for homosexuals and those who abandon Islam. He is heard saying in a YouTube video that if Osama bin Laden was “terrorizing America the terrorist, the biggest terrorist, I am with him”.

A channel called “Peace TV”, which features Zakir Naik’s preachings was banned by Bangladesh after reports claimed that terrorists at a Dhaka cafe that killed 22 people were inspired by him.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) had first registered a case against the 51-year-old Naik under anti-terror laws in 2016 for allegedly promoting enmity between different religious groups.

The controversial preacher left India in 2016 and has been living in Putrajaya in Malaysia since. He was also given a permanent residency and embraced by top Malaysian government officials.

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 the foundation run by Naik.

The foundation was earlier put on the restricted list by the Home Ministry for receiving funds from abroad.

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