Islamic preacher Zakir Naik will be arrested: Says MoS Hansraj Ahir

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Controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik
Controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik

New Delhi : The Minister of State for Home Affairs, Hansraj Ahir said that controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik will finally be arrested and brought to justice, hours after Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad declared Naik was a permanent resident and will not be sent back. Ahir issued the statement on Friday, 6 July in a meeting.

The Indian government, on Thursday, 5 July, said that its request for the banishment of the contentious clergyman was under "active consideration" of the Malaysian government.

During a press conference on Friday, 6 July, Mohamad said that Naik will not be expelled as long as he does not cause a problem.

Naik is facing various charges, including for hate speech and money laundering through the Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) that he founded.

“We had made a formal request for extradition of Zakir Naik, an Indian national living in Malaysia. It was made as per the extradition treaty we have in place with Malaysia. At this stage, all I can say is that our request is under active consideration of the Malaysian authorities,” said Raveesh Kumar, External Affairs Spokesperson

Earlier, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) had registered a case against the evangelist under anti-terror laws in 2016 for promoting antagonism between religious groups.

On Wednesday, 3 July, Naik in a statement said that he had no plans to come to India till he felt safe from "unfair prosecution".

"When I feel that the government will be just and fair, I will surely return to my homeland," he has said.