Zakir Naik granted Saudi citizenship

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Riyadh:Indian Islamic preacher Dr Zakir Naik who is currently wanted by Indian authorities for alleged terrorist offences has reportedly been granted citizenship by Saudi Arabia, according to The Middle East Monitor.

Sources said King Salman had intervened to grant Naik citizenship in order to protect him from arrest by the International Police Organisation (Interpol).

The 51-year-old Islamic preacher founded the Islamic Research Foundation (IRF). He’s believed to have been staying in Saudi Arabia to evade arrest in India after he was accused of playing a role in a terror-related case. Naik also has money laundering allegations against him. Some perpetrators of the Dhaka terror attack also claimed they were inspired by Naik.

Indian press reported enforcement officials in the country were planning to revoke his passport, after which Naik would be forced to return to India. However, they did not anticipate Saudi Arabia would grant him citizenship.

Naik has been booked for allegedly propagating enmity between different groups on the grounds of religion. His channel Peace TV has been banned in UK, Canada and Bangladesh. He was also denied entry to Canada and UK in 2012 after allegedly expressing support for al Qaeda, reported Star Online.

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