The Ministry of External Affairs on Thursday said that India had made a formal request to the Malaysian government for the extradition of controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik and the plea is currently pending.
Several media reports said yesterday that Naik was being deported to India from Malaysia. He, however, termed as baseless reports of his returning to the country and said he would not return to India till he felt “safe from unfair prosecution”.
The controversial preacher has been living abroad to evade arrest in various cases in India.
In January, the MEA had made a formal request to Malaysia to deport Naik, wanted by India for allegedly inciting youngsters for terror activities through his hate speeches.
“We had made a formal request for the extradition of Zakir Naik, who is an Indian National living in Malaysia, as per the extradition treaty we have with Malaysian side. At this stage, our request is under the active consideration of Malaysian side,” MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said on Thursday.
The controversial preacher said he would “surely” return to his “homeland” when he feels “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.
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 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.