LONDON: Interpol has refused Red Corner Notice (RCN) against Dr. Zakir Naik for the third time in a row and instructed all Interpol offices to delete all files and information pertaining to Dr. Naik.
Dr. Naik’s spokesman on Interpol :
A spokesman of Dr. Naik in London stated sharing the official correspondence that the Interpol has told India, it has decided not to issue the notice due to lack of evidence and any proof of wrong doing.
In a setback to Indian investigating agencies the Interpol once again refused a Red Corner Notice (RCN) against Dr. Naik due to lack of evidence and proof of wrongdoing. In a letter dated July 22, the Interpol has said Naik is not subject to any Interpol RCN or diffusion notice. The international police organisation has also instructed all its offices to delete all data on Dr. Naik from its files.
Interpol cleared Dr. Naik of all charges :
The decision was taken by the Interpol’s commission in its 109th session held on July 1 to July 5, 2019. Subsequently, the Interpol general secretariat deleted all data pertaining to Naik on July 15, 2019, as per a letter from Interpol’s commission for control of files.
A group of ISIS inspired youth had been influenced by Naik’s speeches and underwent training to make explosives and weapons, as stated by the Maharashtra police last week. However, the charges against Dr. Naik have yet to be substantiated with evidence in the court where the anti-terror squad of the Maharashtra police has filed the chargesheet. Meanwhile, this is the third failed attempt of the Indian government in convincing the Interpol of criminal charges against Dr Zakir Naik. Its first attempt was back in mid-2017.
Indian Govt. banned Zakir Naik’s IRF :
The Indian government, through the MHA, had banned Zakir Naik and his organisation, the Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) in November 2016. Following the ban, all operations of IRF were stopped, and all the staff relieved of their duties.
It is understood that the Indian government had multiple meetings and presentations with the Interpol team in New Delhi in the last twelve months, said a statement issued by Dr. Naik.
Zakir Naik receives clearance letter from Interpol :
In a letter addressed to Zakir Naik, the Interpol’s commission secretariat stated that “after a thorough examination of the elements before it, the commission found that the data raised questions as to compliance with applicable rules”. The statement implies that the charges and allegations against Dr. Naik were unsubstantiated and vague, and the Indian authorities had failed to follow the due process of Interpol’s rules of charges and proof submission.
The session was listening to the charges made by the Indian government through the NCB of India against Zakir Naik of “promoting enmity between two different religious groups on grounds of religion and doing acts prejudicial to the maintenance of harmony, being a member of unlawful association etc”.
Since the ban in 2016, the Indian government has shifted between charges of terrorism and charges of money laundering against Naik. Both the charges, however, have failed to stick in any court of law. On the contrary, there have been instances when the appellate court has reprimanded the agencies for not proving the allegations with evidence. Dr. Zakir Naik denies both charges and says accusations are politically motivated.
Dr. Zakir Naik freed of all charges :
This is the third instance of Interpol refusing or cancelling the Indian government’s demand for red corner notice against Naik. The first time was over two years ago when it cancelled the provisional RCN as the Indian government failed to produce charges and evidences. The second time was when the Indian government submitted a chargesheet to the Interpol in late 2017.
Despite pressure from the Indian government throughout 2018, the Interpol refused to issue an RCN for the same reasons. The addition of money laundering charges to the chargesheet does not seem to have impacted Interpol’s latest decision. Meanwhile the NIA is yet to respond to the Interpol’s move and the latest statement issued by Dr. Naik.