NIA to seek provisional arrest of radical Islamic preacher Zakir Naik

In what might be trouble for radical Islamic preacher Zakir Naik, the National Investigate Agency (NIA) as per reports is planning on moving a request for his provisional arrest. Naik is currently believed to be in Malaysia after he fled India on 1 July, 2016 after an investigation against him was initiated.

As per the extradition terms which Malaysia has agreed with India, after receiving a provisional arrest request, it has to confirm Naik’s location within its jurisdiction and arrest him, pending presentation of the formal extradition request.

Such provisional arrest requests are generally made when it is believed that a fugitive criminal may flee that particular jurisdiction. The provisional arrest can be made via diplomatic channels, via the Consular, Passport and Visa Division of the Ministry of External Affairs and by using Interpol’s facilities through the CBI.

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Apart from seeking a provisional arrest, the NIA would also make a fresh plea with Interpol for the issuance of a red corner notice (RCN) against him. This notice is issued by the Interpol to seek the location or arrest a particular individual with a view to extract him/her.

Such a fresh RCN request comes after Interpol refused to issue the same on 16th December citing that when the request was made, no chargesheet was filed against Naik. It was subsequently filed in the NIA court after the request had already been made.

The initial red-corner notice request was issued on the basis of terror and money laundering charges against Naik. In order to oppose this, Naik has alleged that the case against him was related to the religious persecution of minorities in India. He also reportedly played victim by claiming that Indian agencies were unfairly targeting him because he is a Muslim.

Apart from this, the NIA had also successfully managed to revoke Zakir Naik’s passport. But Naik still continues to possess this passport and if any country is willing to let him enter its borders while carrying a valid visa, it cannot be stopped from doing so. But the issuance of a Red Corner Notice would mean that authorities would be obligated to detain him and inform Interpol of the same.

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