India raises Zakir Naik issue with Qatar

Published on Nov 25, 2022 12:34 AM IST

India said on Thursday it has raised with Qatar the issue of fugitive Islamic preacher Zakir Naik following reports that he was in the West Asian country for the FIFA World Cup.

 India said on Thursday it has raised with Qatar the issue of fugitive Islamic preacher Zakir Naik following reports that he was in the West Asian country for the FIFA World Cup. (HT file)
India said on Thursday it has raised with Qatar the issue of fugitive Islamic preacher Zakir Naik following reports that he was in the West Asian country for the FIFA World Cup. (HT file)
By, New Delhi

India said on Thursday it has raised with Qatar the issue of fugitive Islamic preacher Zakir Naik following reports that he was in the West Asian country for the FIFA World Cup.

The Qatari side has informed India that Naik, who moved to Malaysia after Indian authorities brought charges of money laundering and hate speech against him, was not extended an invitation for the World Cup.

Also Read | Islamist Zakir Naik was not invited to FIFA World Cup inauguration: Qatar

External affairs ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi told a weekly media briefing that India is making all efforts to ensure that Naik is brought back to the country to face the judicial system. He said the Indian side had formally raised the issue with Qatari counterparts.

Describing Naik as a fugitive facing several charges in India, Bagchi said the country’s authorities had also raised his extradition with Malaysia. The Qatari side had conveyed to India that no invitation was extended for Naik to attend the World Cup, he said.

“Qatar did mention to us that no invitation was extended to Zakir Naik to attend the FIFA World Cup,” Bagchi said.

Naik has been wanted in India since 2016 for alleged involvement in money laundering and inciting extremism through his hate speeches.

“We will continue with our efforts to get him back,” Bagchi said.

In March this year, the home ministry declared the Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) founded by Naik an unlawful organisation and banned it for five years.

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