Indian Islamic preacher, Dr Zakir Naik, who is wanted by authorities in Delhi for alleged terrorist offences, has been granted citizenship by Saudi Arabia, reports Middle East Monitor on Friday.
Arab sources reported that King Salman had intervened to grant Naik Saudi citizenship to protect him from arrest by the International Police Organisation, Interpol, the ME Monitor added.
Last month, Indian courts issued a second arrest warrant for Dr Naik in connection with his alleged role in a terror-related case and over money laundering allegations. Naik, who was on tour at the time, decided not to return to India and remained in Malaysia where permanent residency status was granted to him five years ago by the Malaysian government.
The 51-year-old preacher left India last year, allegedly to evade arrest after some perpetrators of the Dhaka terror attack claimed they were inspired by him.
Indian press reported that the country’s enforcement officials were moving to revoke his passport and request Interpol issue an arrest warrant for him.
It was believed that Naik, who had by then moved to Saudi Arabia, would be forced to return to India if his passport was revoked. The Mumbai passport office, which appears not to have anticipated Saudi Arabia granting citizenship to Naik, moved to revoke his passport while a special court sent out an arrest warrant for him, Middle East Monitor said.