Islamic preacher Zakir Naik
In another setback to absconding Islamic preacher Zakir Naik, a special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court has ordered the attachment of four properties in Mumbai belonging to him. Naik, charged under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) two years ago, was declared a proclaimed offender by the court in June 2017.
On Thursday, the court allowed the central investigation agency to attach the four properties of 52-year-old televangelist in Mazgaon area. Earlier, the agency had attached two flats and a commercial establishment of Naik in Mumbai.
Naik, the founder of Islamic Research Foundation (IRF), left India in 2016 and moved to Malaysia, where he was reportedly granted permanent residency by the government.
India had requested Malaysia for extradition of Naik who is wanted for allegedly encouraging youth to engage in terror-related activities through his hate speeches. Also charged with money laundering-related charges, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) had filed a charge sheet against him in 2017.
In 2010, Naik was banned from entering Britain after the Home Secretary cited ‘unacceptable behaviour’. Fueling controversy, in 2008, Naik suggested that Al-Qaeda was not behind the terror attacks on 11 September 2001 that killed almost 3,000 people.
Advocate Anand Sukhdev, who appeared for the NIA on Thursday, told the court that Naik was trying to obtain citizenship in several foreign nations and therefore, was trying to raise money for the same by selling these Mazgaon properties.
(With PTI inputs)