Interpol rejects Indian plea to corner Zakir Naik

Interpol rejects Indian plea to corner Zakir Naik

The Interpol issues a red notice to locate and provisionally arrest individuals pending extradition, and is based on an arrest warrant by a member country.

Mumbai: The Interpol has turned down the National Investigation Agency's (NIA) request for issuing a Red Corner Notice (RCN) against controversial Islamic preacher and televangelist Zakir Naik after the agency failed to file chargesheet against him before formally making the request. However, the news of this came late because Interpol informed Naik's legal firm Corker Binning, based in London, UK only on December 11.

The Indian agencies had sought from the Interpol to issue a red corner notice in a bid to extradite Zakir Naik and bring him to India.

Zakir Naik fled India in July past year after terrorists in neighbouring Bangladesh claimed that they were inspired by his speeches. Naik, 52, promptly welcomed the Interpol communication. "However, I would be much more relieved if my own government and Indian agencies give me justice and clear me of all charges".

NIA, however, was quick to clarify on Saturday that the ground was merely a "technical" one, as the chargesheet was filed subsequently on October 26, 2017, "a fact that Interpol did not take cognisance of".

Interpol was listening to the request made by The National Central Bureau of Interpol of India made on 19 May 2017 pertaining to Dr Zakir Naik.

Naik has been accused of spreading hatred by his speeches, funding terrorists and money laundering over the years. It has also named IRF and the company Harmony Media Limited promoted by Naik.

The INTERPOL has cited political and religious bias among other reasons, said his spokesperson.

The Indian authorities approached the Interpol for a red notice against Naik, but he had challenged it, contending that the process of law was not followed.

NIA sources said the global police agency has rejected India's request for RCN against Naik on the ground that when the request was sent by NIA through CBI, there was no chargesheet filed in any court in India against Naik.

Intelligence agency to submit fresh request after filing charge sheet. "We are sure Interpol will issue RCN this time", a home ministry official said.