India declares Zakir Naik ‘proclaimed offender’

Members of the Mehdi Foundation International interfaith spiritual association taking part in a protest denouncing Islamic scholar Zakir Naik in New Delhi, India, in July 2016. Zakir, the founder of Peace TV, is now on the run after India revoked his passport earlier this month. – EPA pic, July 29, 2017.

ISLAMIC preacher Zakir Naik has been declared a proclaimed offender by India’s National Investigation Agency (NIA) court, media there reported.

The designated NIA court has also begun the legal process to attach Zakir’s assets following the issuance of two non-bailable warrants against him, according to The Hindu.

These moves follow the Indian government’s revocation of the controversial preacher’s passport earlier this month. Zakir is said to have obtained citizenship from Saudi Arabia, however, and is believed to be residing abroad to avoid arrest.

A proclaimed-offender status is issued by the courts in India when a person repeatedly fails to appear in court after warrants are issued against him.

The Hindu reported that Zakir has been served three summonses and has not responded. The warrants against him are under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention Act) and the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

The Unlawful Activities Act is being used against Zakir for his public speeches, which allegedly promote enmity between religious groups in India.

The NIA recommended the revocation of Zakir’s passport after he failed to respond to several notices to appear before investigating authorities. He is said to have left India last year. – July 29, 2017.

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