New Delhi: Interpol has taken up India’s request for issuing a red corner notice against fugitive Indian Islamic preacher Zakir Naik, said reports on Wednesday. (Also read: Will Not Give in to India’s Demand For Zakir Naik Deportation, Says Malaysian PM)
Red corner notices are requests sent out to Interpol’s 194 member states to provisionally arrest fugitives. It is an international wanted person notice, but not an arrest warrant, and Interpol cannot compel any country to arrest someone.
Naik is wanted in India for money laundering and hate speech. Another charge on him is that of promoting enmity and hatred among different religious communities. He fled India and is living in Malaysia.
The Interpol cancelled a red notice against Naik in December 2017 as he was yet to be charged then. In 2018, a fresh warrant was issued against Zakir Naik…and a fresh request of Red Corner Notice was sent to the Interpol in January, but nothing came of it.
Meanwhile, Naik also approached the Interpol in 2017 claiming he was being targeted. He linked the cases against him to the alleged religious persecution of minorities in India.
NIA contested Naik’s claim in 2018 saying they had “solid evidence” against Naik.
An Indian official told a leading daily that they were hopeful Interpol panel would recommend a global arrest warrant against Naik, thus restricting his movements.
He added the panel will take a final call in a couple of days. The official said NIA wanted to be a part of the CCF meeting to convince its members regarding its case but did not get the requisite permission to do this.
In its chargesheet, NIA has accused Naik of insulting religious beliefs of the Hindus, Christians and Islamic sects like the Shias, and Barelvis. It said Naik’s speeches have influenced recruits to join the so-called Islamic State (IS).
The government has attached Naik’s properties since he fled India. His Islamic Research Foundation has also been banned.