Zakir Naik’s extradition is still unresolved, matter could end up in court: Malaysian Minister

NEW DELHI: Naik, who left India in July 2016, is wanted on trepidation and money laundering charges. In January, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) made a formal request to Malaysia to send back Naik.

Malaysia’s Minister of Human Resources M Kula Segaran, who is on an India visit, said Swaraj sought Naik’s early extradition during a meeting here.”She was asking for the latest on Zakir Naik, whether he will be deported from Malaysia, I did say that no final decision has been taken by the Malaysian government,” he told the media.

In the past Malaysian government had allowed Naik permanent resident status.National Investigation Agency (NIA), that probes terror cases, had last year filed a chargesheet in a court against Naik for allegedly inciting youth to take up terror activities, giving hate speeches and promoting enmity between communities.

He told Swaraj that the Malaysian government could also abandon it to the courts to decide.Asked how the extradition request could progress according to Malaysia’s laws, he said, “If the government decides to deport him, that is end of the matter for us, but Zakir Naik can still challenge (it). If the government decides not to deport, we can refer it to the court and ask the court to decide the matter.’’ Malaysia will ensure necessary “justice and fairplay” in the matter, he declared .Naik, who is in Malaysia, in a statement published in Malaysian newspapers in July, had thanked Malaysia’s Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad for examining his case from an “unbiased perspective”.

Mahathir, who had met the radical Indian cleric in July, had said that Malaysia will not deport Naik to India as long as he does not create problems in the country.

It had first registered a case against Naik under anti-terror laws in 2016.Naik is also under investigation for proceeding of hate speeches that reportedly inspired a deadly terror attack on a popular cafe in Dhaka in 2016.

Naik’s Mumbai-based non-government organisation, Islamic Research Foundation (IRF), has been asserted an unlawful association by the Union home ministry.In a tweet, MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said Kula Segaran and Swaraj discussed ways to enhance capacity building and fostering people-to-people contacts.

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