PETALING JAYA: The Indian government has welcomed the gag order on Dr Zakir Naik, with a push for a red notice against the controversial preacher lined up as its next measure to bring him back to the country.
According to the Hindustan Times, India’s Enforcement Directorate (ED) plans to push Interpol for a red notice against Naik, who has permanent resident status in Malaysia.
“We are armed with a non-bailable arrest warrant and as per the law, a red-corner notice will be the next course of action,” it quoted an ED source as saying.
Naik has been wanted in India since 2016 for investigations into money laundering and inciting extremism through hate speech.
However, he has refused to return to his home country, saying he will not be accorded a fair trial under the BJP government.
Calls for his deportation grew following a series of public talks he gave in Kelantan in which he allegedly questioned the loyalty of Malaysian Hindus to Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
He was later quoted as saying the Chinese in Malaysia could also be considered as “guests” in the country.
He has been questioned twice at the Bukit Aman federal police headquarters, with over 100 police reports lodged against him.
Naik later apologised for any misunderstandings over his statements but maintained that these had been taken out of context.
He has since been banned from speaking in public anywhere in the country, including through social media platforms, until investigations involving him are settled.
Hiren Venegaonkar, an advocate for India’s ED, said news of the ban on Naik’s speeches was “a welcome step from the Malaysian government”.
“We will now enable our investigation agency to initiate the action of bringing him back to our country,” he was quoted as saying in the report.