New Delhi: The government of India's request to Malaysian authorities for the extradition of controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik is "under consideration", the Ministry of External Affairs said here on Thursday.
"India's request is under the consideration of Malaysian government," said MEA spokesman Raveesh Kumar."Zakir Naik is an Indian national living in Malaysia, as per the extradition treaty we have made the request for his extradition," he said.
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) had made a formal request to the government of Malaysia for extradition of Zakir Naik in March this year and has been pursuing it through diplomatic channels.
"We have seen media reports regarding the deportation of Zakir Naik by the Malaysian government. We are yet to receive official confirmation in this regard from Malaysian authorities," a MEA source said after reports surfaced that Naik, who is facing a probe by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the Enforcement Directorate would be 'extradited soon'.
According to sources, Mr Naik's sermons on his channel , Peace TV, were cited as a major catalyst for deadly terror attack in July 2016 in Dhaka that left 22 people dead.On the night of 1 July 2016, five militants took hostages and opened fire on the Holey Artisan Bakery in Dhaka after the assailants entered the bakery with crude bombs, pistols and took number of foreigners and locals as hostages.
Media reports on Wednesday quoted senior Malaysian police of saying that they had no knowledge of Zakir Naik's immediate extradition.Prime Minister Narendra Modi had a warm meeting with newly elected Malaysian counterpart Mahathir Mohamad on May 31.
In a media statement on Wednesday, Zakir Naik said the news of his 'coming' to India was "totally baseless and false"."I have no plans to come to India till I don't feel safe from unfair prosecution," says the statement as reported in the media widely.
Meanwhile, Congress leader and former Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid said anyone facing law in India should have the courage as the legal system here does give 'justice'.(UNI)