KUALA LUMPUR, April 21 ― Controversial preacher Dr Zakir Naik is now the subject of two non-bailable arrest warrants in his home country of India, the latest from a terrorism-related investigation there.
India issued the fresh warrant today, adding to the one made out against the preacher the previous week.
The Indian Express news portal reported that the latest warrant was issued by a special court under the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in Mumbai.
The NIA, which has a registered criminal case against the medical doctor by training, reportedly told the court that Dr Zakir failed to respond to three previous summons, adding that it will seek Interpol’s aid to secure the return of the preacher now residing in Malaysia.
Last week, another court in Mumbai reportedly issued a warrant for Dr Zakir’s arrest, in connection to a money laundering case filed against him by India’s Enforcement Directorate (ED).
The report said that Dr Zakir left India to avoid arrest after several perpetrators of a terror attack in Dhaka, Bangladesh claimed to have been inspired by his sermons, which prompted the NIA’s case against him under India’s Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
Dr Zakir previously told Indian authorities searching for him to find him here in Malaysia, where he was given permanent residency five years ago.
He is a polarising personality in Malaysia, alternately held in esteem by some in the Muslim community and reviled by those of other faiths due to his provocative teachings.
The local Hindu community, in particular, remains aggrieved with the preacher owing to remarks he previously made regarding their faith.
Nineteen activists, many of whom are from the Indian community, filed a lawsuit last month to compel the government to arrest and deport Dr Zakir.
MIC president and Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam yesterday said Malaysia must not permit the controversial preacher to use the country as a haven from a terrorism investigation simply because of his religious credentials.
MCA religious bureau chairman Datuk Ti Lian Ker today urged the government to explain why Dr Zakir remained a permanent resident here when he was the subject of a terror investigation in India.