The Ministry of External Affairs on Friday reiterated that it will take all necessary measures to bring back televangelist Zakir Naik and have him face justice in India.
In the weekly media briefing, MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi, to a question on reports of Naik’s visit to Oman and if India has an extradition arrangement with the country, said, “We will continue to take all necessary measures to bring him to face justice in India.”
Zakir Naik fled India in 2016 amid charges of spreading hatred and money laundering. The same year, India’s counterterrorism agency filed a complaint against him, accusing him of promoting religious hatred and other unlawful activities.
“Zakir Naik is an accused in numerous cases in India. He is a fugitive from justice. We have taken up the matter with the Govt of Oman & Oman authorities,” said Bagchi.
Naik will reportedly be in Oman on March 27. To a pointed question on the preacher’s extradition, Bagchi said he needs to confirm with the ratified list if India has an extradition treaty with Oman.
“As regards the extradition part, I will check on this. I think the list of countries we have an extradition treaty with is already in the public domain. Oman is not on the list. However, I do need to reconfirm,” he said.
The Union Ministry of Home Affairs declared Zakir Naik’s Islamic Research Foundation unlawful last year. Naik is accused of promoting hate, and disharmony, and his speeches are seen as objectionable as he has been extolling known terrorists promoting conversion and terrorism.
Naik recently made headlines after some reports, in November 2022, suggested that Qatar had extended an invitation to him to attend the FIFA World Cup. However, the country later denied the claims, saying no such invitation had been sent to Naik.
A much-followed Muslim preacher, Naik moved to Malaysia from India in 2016 and reportedly secured permanent residency there.
Naik is a wanted man in India and faces charges of spreading hate and also money laundering. ( With ANI inputs)