Nigerian Shia leader leaves India without treatment

The leader of a banned Nigerian Muslim Shia group has left India, three days after arriving in Delhi, to return to Nigeria without getting the medical treatment he sought.

Ibraheem Zakzaky and his wife Zenaat, who have been in custody for four years awaiting trial in Nigeria, were granted leave to travel to India as long as they were accompanied by a government security escort.

Earlier this week, his daughter told the BBC that tests done at Medanta Hospital showed he was suffering from lead and cadmium poisoning that might be from shrapnel in his body from when he was shot by the military in 2015.

But the the Iran-backed Shia leader was unhappy that armed police were posted outside his room and that he was not able to be treated by his own chosen doctors, she said.

A statement from his Islamic Movement in Nigeria suggested said he decided to leave because he did not feel in control of situation and an “imposition of medical treatment by the Nigerian security forces in collaboration with their Indian colleagues”.

Bahadur Naqvi, general secretary of Indian Muslim Shia group Anjuman-e-Haideri, has told the BBC that the Sheikh Zakzaky was supposed to undergo surgery on Friday.

But the IMN leader had wanted to be transferred to a hospital in Mumbai instead, he said.

Mr Naqvi blamed Mr Zakzaky’s legal team for the misunderstanding that led to his departure, saying it had misinterpreted his medical bail, which only allowed for his stay at Medanta Hospital.

“They did not explain to him the conditions of his medical bail. The Nigerian authorities were very clear that it was not an interim bail”, he said.

A document sent to the BBC by Mr Naqvi showed that Mr Zakzaky’s representatives had been in touch with a Mumbai-based hospital. The BBC has not been able to independently verify the authenticity of the document.

On his arrival in Nigeria, Sheikh Zakzaky, 66, is expected to return to the custody of Nigeria’s secret police, the DSS.

He is facing charges of culpable homicide and other offences, all of which he denies.

He has also denied that his movement, which runs hospitals and schools in some states in northern Nigeria, gets any funding from Iran.

Source: BBC

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