Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad on Friday said his country has no plan to deport Islamic preacher Zakir Naik to India, AFP reported.
Naik has been under investigation since 2016, when the Centre banned his Islamic Research Foundation for five years. Indian security agencies have been monitoring him ever since allegations surfaced that he had inspired one of the militants involved in the Dhaka restaurant attack on July 1, 2016.
“As long as he is not creating any problem, we will not deport him because he has been given permanent residency status,” Mohamad told reporters in Putrajaya.
The statement came just a day after India’s Ministry of External Affairs claimed Malaysia was “actively” considering New Delhi’s request to extradite Naik. “We had made a formal request for the extradition of Zakir Naik, who is an Indian national living in Malaysia, as per the extradition treaty we have with Malaysian side,” the ministry’s spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said on Thursday. “Our High Commission in Kuala Lumpur is in regular touch with relevant Malaysian authorities in this regard.”
“Maybe not now but eventually he will be arrested and brought to justice, he will not be spared,” Minister of State for Home Affairs Hansraj Ahir told ANI on Friday.
On Wednesday, Naik said he will not return to India till he feels “safe from unfair prosecution”. His statement came amid reports that he will be deported to India. “The news of my coming to India is totally baseless and false,” he added.