NEW DELHI: India will “very soon” make a request to Malaysia for the extradition of Zakir Naik, charged by the NIA for “radicalising” youth, the external affairs ministry said on Friday, amidst reports that the Islamic preacher was there after being given permanent residency.
“Any formal request where we are seeking the assistance of a foreign government in cases of extradition, it requires a legal process internally first,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said in response to a question at his weekly media briefing here.
“We are nearing the completion of this exercise and once this exercise is complete, we will make an official request to the Malaysian government on this matter,” he said.
According to the media report, Naik has been given permanent residency in Malaysia and top Malaysian government officials have embraced him.
“Over the time spent in this country, he has not broken any laws or regulations. As such, there is no reason from a legal standpoint to detain or arrest him,” Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi was quoted as telling the country’s parliament.
According to National Investigation Agency (NIA), after the order declaring Naik – who enjoys a NRI status – a proclaimed offender was issued on July 21, the process to attach his assets started under the Criminal Procedure Code’s Section 83.
The government has imposed a five-year ban on the IRF under the country’s anti-terror laws and in July this year, a special court in Mumbai declared Naik a “proclaimed offender”.