After the Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad stated his right to not extradite controversial preacher Zakir Naik to India, Naik himself, on Tuesday, has issued a statement citing his terms to return to India.
Responding to the ED's claims on money laundering in a statement, accessed by Republic TV, Naik states that he is willing to return to India if the Supreme Court gives him in writing that he would not be jailed unless convicted.
"There’s one other offer I’ve made earlier and I stand by that even today. If the Supreme Court of India gives me in writing that I will not be arrested and jailed until I am convicted, I will return to India, and I will return today," he writes.
Naik has also claimed that out of desperation, Indian agencies have shifted their focus from terror to money laundering, to make any charge stick.
"Why are the Indian agencies getting so desperate? This desperation is shameful, and it shows in the way they keep shifting focus from one angle to another, from terror to money laundering, just to make something stick on me. Sadly their desperation is shameful to their own autonomy as well as to the Indian democracy," he writes.
Explaining how he will not receive a fair trial in India, he has disclaimed all charges against him calling them fictitious.
"As much as I want to hasten up clearing my name from fictitious charges by Indian agencies, they continue an exercise steeped in injustice and unfairness, and are trying everything to put me in jail irrespective of whether I’m guilty or not," he adds.
He also states the previous instances in which the Interpol refused to accept India's terror charges against him claiming the agencies tried to attach his properties under alleged money laundering charges only to be stayed by the Appellate Tribunal.
Listing instances when he has agreed to meet ED agencies over video conference or face-to-face in Malaysia, he states that these were proof enough to show that the Indian Government was not interested in listening to him and that he would be put behind bars with no charges, no trial, and no investigation.
While he claims that he trusts Indian judiciary, he says that recent history shows cases of wrongful prosecution of Muslims in India adding he would not take a chance to ruin his life.
"I trust the Indian judiciary but sadly not the prosecution system. Despite allegations and complaints, there is not a single verdict against me in any court anywhere in India or the world. The recent history of India is replete with cases of Muslims arrested and put in jail for 8, 10, 15, even 20 years before being declared innocent by the courts. Knowing this record of Indian agencies, I would not like to take a chance of ruining my life and my unfinished work," he states.
Zakir Naik, a 53-year-old radical television preacher, reportedly left India in 2016 and subsequently moved to Malaysia, where he was granted permanent residency.
Earlier last month, Enforcement Directorate had said that Zakir Naik received crores of funds in his and his trusts'' bank accounts from unidentified "well-wishers" over the years for his speeches that spread "hatred and incited Muslim youth" to take up terrorism.
Following this Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad on Monday said that his country has the right not to extradite controversial preacher Zakir Naik to India, since the fugitive evangelist claims he will not get a fair trial back home.