Dr Zakir Naik responds to Enforcement Directorate; releases statement
Zakir Naik said, 'Knowing this record of Indian agencies, I would not like to take a chance of ruining my life and my unfinished work'
Dr Zakir Naik responds to the latest claims by the Enforcement Directorate. The following was in his statement released, "Why are the Indian agencies getting so desperate? Desperate to comply with the instructions of their political bosses? It surely cannot be desperation to serve justice because they’re not sure of the charges themselves.
But 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.
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. The objective of all their actions seems to be to put me behind bars without trial and without hearing. In the process, the Enforcement Directorate continues to waste its time and taxpayers money in bringing about injustice and harassment.
The Indian agencies are desperately trying to pin something on me. Some charges, any charges. Which is why when terror charges did not work with the Interpol, they’ve moved on to money laundering. The Interpol refused to accept the Indian government’s charges against me on two different occasions in the last two years, and I don’t see that stance changing.
The first time was two years ago but it was cancelled by Interpol soon after, as the Indian government failed to produce charges and evidence. The second time was when the Indian government submitted a chargesheet to the Interpol late 2017. It’s been more than a year and despite pressure from the Indian government, the Interpol hasn’t issued an RCN. Now, the agencies are trying their luck with money laundering to get the Interpol to issue an RCN.
The agencies even tried to attach my properties, my legally acquired properties. But on both the occasions, once in early 2018 and then again in March 2019, the Appellate Tribunal put a stay on their actions. Why? Because they could not prove that the properties were acquired by any illegal means.
Any rational mind will see that the Indian agencies are not being driven by their duty of solving a crime but by the will of their political bosses.
Fortunately for me, Interpol is not driven by Indian politics. Somehow they are not convinced about my "crime" the way Indian agencies have been claiming.
Let me also explain why the ED – or other agencies – are not interested in listening to me or in a fair investigation and trial. The “charges” are merely an excuse to bring me back to India and put me behind bars. I have never shied away from questioning and had offered to be questioned several times much before IRF and I were banned in 2016. None of my offers were taken up. I was banned without being given a single chance to explain my side of the story. Not a single question was asked, not once.
Even after the ban I offered to be questioned over video conference several times. I even offered to meet agency officials face-to-face in Malaysia for as long as required, but those offers too went in vain. That should be enough proof of this government’s intentions. It’s not interested in hearing me or in a fair trial. Its only aim is to put me behind bars. No charges, no trial, no investigation. It looks like my punishment has already been decided.
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.
However, 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."
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