PETALING JAYA: India is pressing Interpol to take action on its request for “red notices” against certain fugitives avoiding the law, including preacher Zakir Naik, who has permanent resident status in Malaysia.
Times of India said Home Secretary AK Bhalla met visiting Interpol secretary-general Jurgen Stock for 30 minutes on Friday on this.
Stock also met India’s Central Bureau of Investigation director Rishi Kumar Shukla to discuss issues of “mutual interest”.
The daily said delays in issuing the red notice remained an issue for CBI as in many important cases these have only been issued after a long wait.
Shukla also raised issues about the Interpol entertaining pleas from high-profile fugitives using excuses such as human rights violations, resulting in delays.
Last year, CBI sent 123 red notice requests to Interpol. Only 76 of them were published.
Till July 15 this year, 41 requests were sent to Interpol and 32 have been published.
“Among those against whom the Interpol has yet to issue the red notice include Zakir Naik,” an official told the daily.
Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad has said several times that Malaysia is reluctant to send Naik back to India to face alleged moneylaundering charges because he runs the risk of being killed and doubts he will receive a fair trial there.
Recently, Naik’s comments during lectures in Kelantan led to more than 100 police reportsbeing lodged against him. Police summoned him to record his statement at Bukit Aman police headquarters as a result.
Naik was reported to have questioned the loyalty of Malaysian Hindus to Mahathir and was later quoted as saying that the Chinese community in Malaysia were also considered to be “guests” in the country.
Mahathir has warned Naik to stay out of politics. He said the government will revoke Naik’s permanent resident status if his actions are found to be detrimental to the well-being of the country.