Indian Islamic preacher Zakir Naik has been declared a proclaimed offender and the process to attach his assets has been initiated, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) said on Friday.
PTI reports that, Â the order declaring Mr. Naik a proclaimed offender was issued recently by a special court in Mumbai, after which the process of attachment of his assets â€œunder Section 83 of the Criminal Procedure Code (Cr.PC) has been initiatedâ€.
Mr. Naik is being probed under terror and money laundering charges by the NIA.
He leave India on July 1, 2016 after one terrorists in neighbouring Bangladesh claimed that he was inspired by Naikâ€™s speeches on waging a â€˜jihadâ€™ (holy war).
According to the â€˜Middle East Monitorâ€™, an online news portal, Mr. Naik has already been granted citizenship by Saudi Arabia.
However, there has not been any independent verification of this claim so far. Mr. Naik had his passport renewed in January, 2016 for 10 years.
The NIA, on November 18, 2016, had registered a criminal case against the Islamic preacher at its Mumbai branch under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
Zakir Abdul Karim Naik is an Indian Islamic preacher, and the founder and president of the Islamic Research Foundation. He is also the founder of the “comparative religion” Peace TV channel through which he reaches a reported 100 million viewers.
Naik was ranked 89 onÂ The Indian Express’sÂ list of the “100 Most Powerful Indians in 2010”. He was ranked 82 in the 2009 edition.Â According toÂ Praveen Swami, Naik is “perhaps the most influentialÂ SalafiÂ ideologue in India”. Sanjiv ButtooÂ says he is acknowledged as an authority on Islam, but is known for making negative remarks about other religions.Â Sadanand DhumeÂ writes that Naik has a “carefully crafted image of moderation”, because of his gentle demeanour, his wearing of a suit and tie, and his quoting of scriptures of other religions.Â He is also listed in the bookÂ The 500 Most Influential MuslimsÂ under honourable mention, in the 2009,Â 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013/2014Â editions.