Mumbai: Aatish Taseer, the New York-based journalist and author whose overseas Indian citizenship was cancelled, has rebutted the charge that he did not respond to the government's notice. He later converted it to an OCI card.
"Mr Taseer was given the opportunity to submit his reply/objections regarding his PIO/OCI cards, but he failed to dispute the notice".
The spokesperson also denied that the government had been considering revoking Taseer's OCI card after he wrote an article in the TIME magazine, which was critical of the prime minister, saying the news was a "complete misrepresentation and is devoid of any facts". Mr Taseer, born to an Indian mother, is a British citizen but lives in the United States. He put out a part of his email exchange with the Indian consul general in NY on social media.
"Not only was I not a Pakistani, but my relationship with my father - who was Governor of Punjab in Pakistan when he was assassinated in 2011 - had been complicated".More news: Torrential rain in England strands shoppers, floods streets
On November 7, ThePrint had reported on the fact that MHA had been considering revoking Taseer's OCI card-holder status.
Under Modi, in power since 2014, India has fallen to 140th out of 180 in the World Press Freedom Index compiled by Reporters Without Borders (RSF). Posting a screenshot of an acknowledgement from the deputy consul general on Twitter, he claimed he had received the letter seeking his response in September on the 20th day into the 21-day period that he had to write back to the government. He moved to India at the age of 2, where he was raised by a single mother, Tavleen Singh, who is a noted Indian columnist.
At the peak of the general elections in May this year, Mr Taseer, known for his views against Hindu fundamentalism, had authored an article for Time that questioned if India can "endure another five years of a Modi government".
When asked about the criticism of Modi in the TIME magazine piece, Kohli said: "That is extraneous to the fact that if he was not eligible for the application why did he in the first place make the application with not disclosing the full facts".More news: Judge vacates Trump admin's anti-LGBT 'conscience rule' for health workers
While this may well have been used as a technicality against Taseer, the timing of the move warrants suspicion. Congress leader Jairam Ramesh, also a member of the Upper House of the Parliament, tweeted, "I have very often been attacked by Tavleen Singh in her columns". As Aatish was born outside India before 10 December 1992, he becomes ineligible to become an Indian citizen as per section 4 of the Citizenship Act, 1955, because his father was Pakistani citizen at the time of his birth in UK. "My grandmother is 90 years old and lives in India and I may never see her again", Taseer told the BBC.
"An example is being made of me", Taseer said in an interview. But I condemn Home Ministry revoking her son Aatish Taseer's OCI.
"Home Minister Amit Shah should immediately withdraw the directive and any attempts to alter Aatish Taseer's overseas citizenship". "All critical voices are snooped on, harassed or muzzled".More news: Kawhi Leonard 'Shocked' NBA Revealed Details Of Injury