Indian government asks Malaysia for Zakir Naik’s extradition

New Delhi: The Indian government has sought Zakir Naik’s extradition from Malaysia. After National Investigation Agency (NIA) completed all its formalities, the external affairs ministry sent a request to the Malaysian authorities for Naik’s extradition.

Malaysia’s Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi in November had said, “If the Indian government makes a request to extradite him (Naik) based on Mutual Legal Assistance, we will return him. So far, there is no such request.” He had added that Naik did not apply for Malaysian citizenship.

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A court in Kuala Lumpur is likely to hear India’s request. In the charge sheet filed on October 26, 2017, NIA had claimed that Naik had insulted religious beliefs of Hindus, Christians and Islamic sects like Shia, Sufi and Barelvi, and his speeches influenced youths to join Islamic State. As per TOI’s report, Naik has been charged under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, criminal conspiracy and promoting enmity among different religious groups.

CDs and DVDs of his speeches will be shared with prosecutors during Naik’s extradition hearing in Malaysia. “There is strong evidence against Naik that he was using his NGO Islamic Research Foundation and company Harmony Media Pvt Ltd for anti-national activities,” said an official on condition of anonymity.

The Indian government has imposed a five-year ban on the IRF under the country’s anti-terror laws and has declared Naik an absconder.