Modi didn''t ask me to return Zakir Naik, says Malaysian PM; India rebuts

KUALA LUMPUR/NEW DELHI: Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad on Tuesday said that his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi did not request him to return controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik.

Modi didn''t ask me to return Zakir Naik, says Malaysian PM; India rebuts

Controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik. File photo

monicakchauhan@gmail.com

Kuala Lumpur/New Delhi, September 17

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad on Tuesday said that his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi did not request the extradition of radical preacher Zakir Naik, but India rebutted, saying the issue did come up when the two leaders met in Russia this month.

Mahathir said Modi, whom he met in Russia during an economic forum earlier this month, made no extradition request for Naik despite an official notice from New Delhi, reports Malay Mail.

"Not many countries want him. I met with Modi. He didn't ask me for this man," Mahathir told the Kuala Lumpur-based BFM Malaysia radio station on Tuesday morning.

He said that the city of Putrajaya is still looking for a place to send the 53-year-old Naik.

At a media briefing on Tuesday in New Delhi, Foreign Minister S Jaishankar said Naik's extradition issue had indeed come up during prime minister Modi's meeting with Malaysian counterpart in Vladivostok.

"...the Indian expectation was communicated and it was decided that officials concerned should meet," he said.

"Let me make it very clear for the record. There is an extradition request sent in January 2018. We want Zakir Naik back and that is what we are working on," Jaishankar asserted. 

He said India has been relentlessly pursuing Naik's extradition at all levels.

Mahathir reaffirmed that Naik will no longer be allowed to publicly speak in Malaysia following his racially divisive remarks which include saying that the Chinese should be sent back to China.

"Well, he's not a national of this country. He has been given, I think by the previous government, permanent residence status. A permanent resident isn't supposed to make any comments on this country's systems and politics. He has breached that. He is now not allowed to speak.

"We are trying to find some place he can go to but at the moment, no one wants to accept him," the Prime Minister added.

Naik is wanted in India for serious charges related to terrorism after his name cropped in connection with a ghastly terror attack at Holey Artisan Bakery in Dhaka in July 2016.

The Mumbai-born founder of the controversial 'Peace TV' has been living in Malaysia since 2017 after fleeing from India.

Last month, Naik was banned from delivering public talks in every state in Malaysia by the police in the interest of national security.

On August 3, he said that Hindus in Malaysia get "100 times more rights" than the Muslim minority gets in India, and yet they support the "Prime Minister of India and not the Prime Minister of Malaysia".

IANS/PTI

Cities

View All

Ban on hookah bars goes up in smoke

Police, Excise officials seize hookahs from restaurants

Doctors complain of heavy workload at Civil Hospital

Say they perform additional duties due to shortage of medica...

Locust attacks reported from Bathinda villages

Agri Dept alert, constantly observing its movement, says ADO

Cops tighten noose around Chinese kite string sellers

The Chinese and zinc-coated thread is dangerous not only for...

Padma Shri for ‘Langar Baba’, PGI doc

Jagdish Lal feeding hungry for 20 yrs, sold property to run ...

Soon, 9,310 dark spots to illuminate

Work of installing LED lights to begin in month, contractor ...

Civic body staff say no to cheque, bills say otherwise

People visiting offices to pay bills by cheque a harried lot

Vendors can station carts at vending zone sites: Mayor

No fee for now, vendors identified during survey will be eli...

Stones of 2 foot overbridges laid

To come up at Gurdwara Dukhniwaran Sahib, Kali Mata Mandir

R-Day: Education Minister to hoist National Flag today

School principals, teachers told to remain present at venue

Man held for illegal mining in SYL canal

Caught red-handed, another suspect to be nabbed soon, say co...