On Zakir Naik's Extradition Plea, 'Interpol Has Not Replied For Last 7 Months'
Zakir Naik with Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad | (Photo Credits: Malaysia TV/Screengrab)

New Delhi, July 10: The Interpol has not issued a reply on India's request to extradite controversial Islamic preacher Dr Zakir Naik, who is currently in Malaysia. Under the routine process, the global body which facilitates police cooperation issues a reply within three weeks.

Officials of the National Investigation Agency (NIA), based on whose chargesheet an extradition request has been sent, told NDTV that the Interpol may have found lack of merit in the prima facie case prepared by the agency against Naik.

There is a possibility, the officials claimed on condition of anonymity, that the Interpol is unimpressed with the case presented against Naik by the Indian investigators.

If the Interpol is satisfied - as seen in the case of business tycoons Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi - a Red Corner Notice is dispatched against the abscandors within three weeks of receiving the extradition request.

Naik, who heads the Islamic Research Foundation (IRF), has accused the Narendra Modi government of deliberately linking him to the transnational terror network. In a recent statement issued, the preacher said he is "unable to return to my motherland India" as the government is looking to frame him under "frivolous charges".

The newly elected Malaysian regime of 92-year-old Mahathir Mohamad has turned down India's request to extradite Naik. On the contrary, Jakarta has extended him permanent residency status -- a step away from according him the status of a Malaysian citizen.

Mahathir, on being asked whether his government is considering the extradition request made by New Delhi, said Naik would be not be deported from Malaysia as "long as he is not creating any problem".

Naik, 52, came under the radar of Indian agencies following terror attack in a Dhaka cafe by Islamic State-inspired militants. One of the accused fidayeen, in a Facebook post, had praised Naik. This led the charges of terror indoctrination being levelled against the Indian-born preacher.

In the inquiry ordered against him by the Ministry of Home Affairs, the NIA said the YouTube videos of Naik suggested he was "promoting communal enmity" in India apart from "radicalising the Muslims".