The Union Home Ministry has revoked Overseas India Citizen (OIC) status of writer and journalist Aatish Taseer for “hiding information”.
“Mr. Aatish Ali Taseer becomes ineligible to hold an OCI card, as per the Citizenship Act, 1955. He has clearly not complied with very basic requirements and hidden information,” the MHA spokesperson said in tweet late on Thursday night.
The MHA also said Taseer had “concealed” the fact that his father was a Pakistani national.
The OIC card which allows foreign citizens of Indian origin to work indefinitely and enter India without a visa is given to all nationals except those of Pakistan and Bangladesh. The OCI was introduced in response to persistent demands for dual citizenship which is not allowed under the Indian Citizenship Act .
The MHA also said that Taseer had been given an opportunity to represent but had failed to do so.
Taseer refused to comment, but tweeted that the allegations of not responding to an opportunity to challenge the decision is “untrue”.
In a tweet, he said: “This is untrue. Here is the Consul General’s acknowledgment of my reply. I was given not the full 21 days, but rather 24 hours to reply. I’ve heard nothing from the ministry since”. He also attached an alleged acknowledgment from Indian authorities with his tweet.
New York based Taseer recently did a cover story for the Time Magazine in which he called PM Modi “Divider-in-Chief.” In the article, Taseer had criticised PM Modi’s first term as prime minister.