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9 November, 2019 00:00 00 AM
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India strips British Modi critic of overseas citizenship

AFP, New Delhi

An Indian-origin British journalist critical of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has lost his Indian overseas citizenship, a move campaigners said underlined the government’s hostility to a free press.

The home ministry said Thursday that Aatish Taseer had “concealed the fact that his late father was of Pakistani origin” and was therefore ineligible for Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI).

Taseer’s cover article on Time magazine’s international edition titled “India’s Divider in Chief”—next to Modi’s face—was published in May ahead of elections that saw Modi win a second term in a landslide.

The writer’s father Salman Taseer was born in pre-partition British India and was governor of Pakistan’s Punjab province until his assassination in 2011 for opposing the country’s blasphemy laws.

Born in Britain, Aatish Taseer wrote on Time’s website late Thursday that he lived in India from the age of two with his Indian mother—his sole legal guardian—and had no contact with his father until he was 21.

“The government had limited means by which they could legally take away my overseas citizenship. Yet they have now acted on those means,” he wrote.

“(It) is hard not to feel, given the timing, that I was being punished for what I had written.”

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).

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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