The International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) has once again refused India’s request to issue a Red Corner Notice against Islamic preacher Dr Zakir Naik and instructed all of its offices to delete files and information held against him.
A spokesperson for Dr Naik said ‘Interpol told India it had decided not to issue the notice due to lack of evidence and any substantial proof of wrongdoing.’ Zakir Naik is a world-renowned Muslim scholar of Indian origin who, because of the troubles at home, fled India a few years ago.
Interpol’s Commission made its decision during its 109th session held July 1-5, 2019, according to an official paper seen by Geo News. Subsequently, the General Secretariat deleted all the data of Dr Naik on July 15, 2019, as per a letter from Interpol’s Commission for Control of Files.
The decision comes as a setback to the Indian government, which has been persistently trying to get the international police to issue a Red Corner Notice against the preacher, who has been accused of radical preaching — a claim Naik rejects.
This is New Delhi’s third attempt — the first being back in mid-2017 — to convince the Interpol of criminal charges against Dr Naik. India had multiple meetings and presentations with the Interpol team over the past year, a source claimed.
In a letter addressed to the controversial Islamic preacher, the Interpol’s Commission Secretariat said: “After a thorough examination of the elements before it, the Commission found that the data (read “charges”) challenged raised questions as to compliance with applicable rules”.
The statement implies that the charges and allegations against Dr Naik were vague and unsubstantiated and the Indian authorities failed to follow due process for Interpol’s rules of charges and submission of proof.