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Ready to return to India if not arrested till conviction: Zakir Naik

By PTI
|

New Delhi, May 09: Islamic preacher Zakir Naik has said he is ready to return to India if the Supreme Court gives an assurance that he would not be arrested till his conviction.

"If there is an assurance from the Supreme Court of India, that if Dr Zakir Naik comes, they will not arrest me till I am convicted, I will come," he said.

File photo of Zakir Naik

Zakir Naik is living in Malaysia after fleeing from India in 2016. He has been given permanent resident status by the Malaysian government.

In an interview to "The Week" magazine, the controversial preacher said he has faith in the judicial system, but it was better before than it is now.

Dubious transfers of Rs 64.86 crore get mention in ED chargesheet against Zakir Naik

"Before the BJP government came, you could speak against the government, and at least 80 per cent of the times you would get justice. Today, the chances are 10-20 per cent," he said. "Moreover, if we see the history, more than 90 per cent Muslims who faced terror charges have been let free after 10-15 years. So if I look at an average, I will be behind bars for about 10 years, and my entire mission would get disrupted. Why should I be a fool," he said.

Zakir Naik said the National Investigation Agency (NIA) can question him in Malaysia, if they want.

Zakir Naik is wanted by India for allegedly inciting young people with his hate speeches.He is being probed for terror and money laundering charges by the NIA.

On the allegations of money laundering by the Enforcement Directorate, he said he has one bank account. "I have several companies and I am actually doing business. Is there a restriction in Indian law that a person cannot own companies? People have 50 companies and sometimes there are no transactions in some," he said.

Zakir Naik said they are also alleging that he sent money into his personal account. "Now all that money I sent into my account was Rs. 49 crore in seven years. I told you my earning is more than a crore a month and I have got a lot of businesses in real estate and other ventures. It will be a crime if I use some of the money for drugs or terrorism."

They said Harmony Media is a factory of terrorism, Zakir Naik claimed. "If it is promoting terrorism then how come the US allowed my channel for so many years," he asked.

PTI

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