Controversial Islamic preacher Dr Zakir Naik, booked under an anti-terror law, has been granted citizenship by Saudi Arabia, according to media reports.
The Middle East Monitor reported that King Salman had intervened to grant Naik Saudi citizenship to protect him from arrest by the Interpol, reports IndiaToday.
51-year-old Naik, who founded the banned Islamic Research Foundation (IRF), was believed to be staying in Saudi Arabia to evade arrest after his activities came under scanner following accusations that he had inspired some of the terrorists who attacked a cafe in Dhaka last year.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) had filed an FIR against Naik and his associates in November.
The physician-turned-preacher was booked for allegedly promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony. Sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) have also been slapped on him.
The Centre had declared Islamic Research Foundation (IRF), an NGO based at Dongri in south Mumbai, an unlawful organisation under the Unlawful Activities [Prevention] Act (UAPA).
The Delhi High Court had recently upheld the decision to immediately ban IRF saying the organisation and its president and members were indulging in "unlawful activity".
Besides the IRF, Naik is also founding trustee of the IRF Educational Trust and the Islamic Dimensions Trust.
The speeches of Naik are banned in the UK, Canada and Malaysia.
Naik has rejected all allegations of involvement in terror-related activities and opposed the ban on the IRF.