New Delhi: Controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik whose passport was revoked earlier in July, has contested NIA’s (National Investigation Agency) request to Interpol for a red-corner notice. Naik has alleged that the case against him is linked to “religious persecution of minorities in India”.
In his plea to Interpol, Naik has submitted that he had been delivering speeches on Islam for the past 25 years across several countries, where he was respected and welcomed.
He has alleged that Indian agencies, by banning his NGO Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) and preventing him from delivering speeches on Islam, were violating his freedom of expression.
Naik also cited the “poor condition of Indian prisons” and “human rights violations” there to back his plea. Naik’s plea comes after the National Investigative Agency (NIA) wrote to Interpol and Central Bureau of Investigation ( CBI) in May for issuing a red corner notice against him.
Naik is being probed by the NIA for alleged terrorism and money laundering. He fled India on July 1, 2016, after one of the terrorists involved in the Dhaka cafe attack said he was “inspired by Naik’s speeches on waging jihad”.
The controversial Islamic preacher has been declared a proclaimed offender, and the process to attach his assets has been initiated, the National Investigation Agency said in July. The government also revoked the passport of the Islamic preacher following a request from NIA the same month. Naik is accused of spreading hatred through provocative speeches and laundering crores of rupees over the years.