The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has issued a notice to a French journalist, asking for an explanation as to why his Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card should not be cancelled on account of a biased negative perception of the country that his malicious work has created.
The French journalist, accused of provoking disorder and disturbing peace in certain sections of society, has been given a 15-day deadline ending February 2 to respond. Losing the OCI status will result in the journalist leaving the country and applying for a fresh visa to come back.
The journalist has been “undertaking journalistic activities without any special permission as required under Citizenship Act 1955 and rules/regulations issued thereunder,” reads a document issued by the Foreigners Registration Office (FRRO) of the MHA on January 18, which is published by The Print.
The journalist has, however, denied claims from the Indian government. “I can confirm that I have received a notice from the concerned department of the Government of India and that I deny all the allegations and imputations made therein against me and my conduct. India is my home, a country which I deeply love and respect, and I have never engaged in any acts that are in any manner prejudicial to Indian interests as is being alleged,” he said in a statement published by The Print.
Ever since the journalist’s work permit was cancelled, he has been reporting from Sri Lanka, Maldives, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal. The Print report says he has done no reporting from within Indian borders.
He has allegedly published articles which are factually inaccurate.