India to seek Zakir Naik’s extradition from Malaysia, says report

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PETALING JAYA: India’s National Investigation Agency (NIA) has submitted a detailed investigation report on the alleged terror activities of fugitive Islamic preacher Zakir Naik to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in New Delhi.

The Times of India (TOI) reported today that the agency has sought prosecution sanction from the ministry against Naik, who fled India and who has been given permanent resident status by Malaysia.

It said this was a step towards seeking his extradition from Malaysia and Saudi Arabia where he has been known to be residing.

Naik was last seen on Sept 29 participating in Friday prayers at the Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin Mosque in Putrajaya. Photographs of him among the congregation were uploaded on Facebook and spread via social media

Citing sources, the news daily said the ministry was informed that the investigation against Naik was complete and his role in radicalising Indian Muslim youth to join “jihad” (religious battle) had been backed by strong evidence.

It said there was also proof gathered on his alleged spreading of enmity between religious groups, disturbing communal harmony and attempting forced conversions through his NGO called the Islamic Research Foundation (IRF).

The sources said the prosecution sanction had been sought under Section 18 of India’s Unlawful Activities Prevention Act which relates to terror conspiracy, Sections 10 and 13 of the same act which deal with being a member of an unlawful outfit, and Section 153 of the Indian Penal Code which deals with inciting communal hatred.

TOI reported that NIA will file its charge-sheet against Naik, his associates and IRF, as soon as MHA gives prosecution sanction.

“This would then be used to send a formal extradition request to Malaysia and Saudi Arabia, where he is said to be living and travelling frequently,” it said.

It said the NIA’s investigations revealed he had radicalised and influenced several Muslim youngsters towards jihadi activities through his speeches.

The youngsters had then joined violent extremist organisations and planned terror attacks in India, it added.

It cited several terror suspects, including Indian Mujahideen member Qateel Ahmed Siddiqui, alleged Islamic State (IS) online recruiter Afsha Jabeen, and IS recruits Mudabbir Sheikh, Mohammed Obaidullah Khan, Abu Anas and Mohammed Nafees Khan, as claiming that they were influenced by Naik’s speeches.

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