Won’t deport preacher Zakir Naik to India, says Malaysian PM Mahathir Mohamad

Zakir, who is the founder of Islamic Research Foundation (IRF), left India in 2016 for Malaysia, where he was granted permanent residency. He is wanted in India for allegedly conducted terror-related activities and hate speech.

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said Friday that controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik will not be deported to India. Addressing a press conference, Mohamad said Naik would not be sent back as long as he was not creating any problem in the country, reported news agency AFP.

Zakir, who is the founder of the Islamic Research Foundation (IRF), left India in 2016 for Malaysia, where he was granted permanent residency. He is wanted in India for allegedly conducted terror-related activities and hate speech.

“As long as he is not creating any problem, we will not deport him because he has been given permanent residency status,” Mahathir was quoted as saying by AFP.

India has made a formal request for the extradition of Naik. India’s Ministry of External Affairs said Thursday the country’s request is under ‘active consideration’.

Meanwhile, MoS Home Hansraj Ahir has responded to the Malayasian PM’s statement saying Naik will not be spared. As per ANI, he said, “Maybe not now but eventually he will be arrested and brought to justice, he will not be spared.”

Also read | Zakir Naik: ‘Not coming to India, feels unsafe from unfair prosecution’

Earlier this week, Naik denied reports that he was returning to India, calling them “totally baseless and false”.

In a statement, he said, “The news of my coming to India is totally baseless and false. I have no plans to come to India till I don’t feel safe from unfair prosecution. Insha Allah when I feel that the government will be just and fair, I will surely return to my homeland.”

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