Press monitoring organisation Middle East Monitor (MEMO) said yesterday that Saudi Arabia has granted citizenship to the controversial Islamic preacher – Zakir Naik.
Sources revealed that the Islamic scholar was granted Saudi citizenship to escape arrest as Indian police and Interpol hold him and his religious organization responsible for multiple offences related to terrorism. Naik is wanted by the agency for his alleged role in a terror case.
It is also to be noted that Naik was issued another non-bailable warrant under a money laundering case by the Enforcement Directorate as well.
The recent focus of limelight on Naik came when his name cropped up during investigations into the terror strike at an upscale restaurant in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on July 1 past year.
It was believed that Naik, who had by then moved to Saudi Arabia, would be forced to return to India if his passport was revoked.
The portal said the Mumbai passport office did not appear to have anticipated Saudi Arabia granting citizenship to him, moved to revoke his passport while a special court sent out an arrest warrant for him.
The development comes nearly after a week the National Investigation Agency (NIA) approached Interpol for issuing a red corner notice (RCN) Naik.
One of the terrorists involved in that attack was reportedly inspired by Naik’s speeches.
Naik was on a tour overseas at that time and has since not returned to India allegedly to evade arrest under various charges, including inspiring terrorist activities and money-laundering.