The Interpol has refused to issue a red corner notice against controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik and has instructed its worldwide offices to delete all data on him, media reports said on Saturday.
According to CNN-News18, after a thorough examination, the Interpol’s commission said in a detailed report that the charges made by India against Naik were based on vague accusations. The commission further contended that there was a lack of evidence against him.
Naik’s London-based legal firm was informed about the decision by the Interpol in a letter dated 11 December. DNA reported that the Interpol cited failure by Indian authorities to follow due process of law, political and religious bias, and lack of international interest as the reasons for its decision.
The data was deleted from Interpol’s files in November, India Today reported. The commission considered that the retention of this data was “not compliant with the Interpol’s rules and decided that it should be deleted.”
The National Investigation Agency (NIA), which has been on the hunt for Naik since 2016, had approached the Interpol in May seeking a red corner notice against him.
In October, the NIA had filed a charge sheet against the founder of Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) before a special court in Mumbai for allegedly inciting youth, giving hate speeches and promoting enmity between religious groups.
Naik was charged under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) in addition to certain Sections 120B, 153A, 295A, 298 and 505(2) of the Indian Penal Code.
In the 4,000-page charge sheet, the NIA noted that Naik “conspired with IRF trust and Harmony Media Private Limited (both promoted by him) to commit offences of promoting hatred and outraging religious feelings.”
India Today news channel reported on Saturday that the NIA will submit a fresh request to the Interpol since the charge sheet was not filed when it had approached the Interpol, leading to the cancellation of its request.
The Centre had banned IRF in November 2016 for five years. At a meeting, the Union Cabinet had approved a proposal to declare IRF as an ‘unlawful association’ under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.
He came under the scanner of the security agencies after Bangladeshi newspaper Daily Star reported that one of the perpetrators of the 1 July 2016 terror attack in Dhaka, ran propaganda on Facebook quoting Naik.
The televangelist was declared a proclaimed offender by the NIA court in July after failing to appear before the investigating agency despite several summonses.
Naik is banned in the UK and Canada for his hate speech aimed against other religions and is among the 16 banned Islamic scholars in Malaysia.
With inputs from PTI