“Forced To Leave India”: French Journalist After Row Over OCI Card

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'Forced To Leave India': French Journalist After Row Over OCI Card

Vanessa Dougnac was South Asia Correspondent for French publications La Croix and Le Point in India.

New Delhi:

 French journalist Vanessa Dougnac on Saturday left India saying she cannot afford to wait for the outcome of the legal process set in motion in the wake of a notice issued to her by the government regarding cancellation of her Overseas Citizen of India card.

“Today, I am leaving India, the country where I came 25 years ago as a student, and where I have worked for 23 years as a journalist. The place where I married, raised my son, and which I call my home,” Dougnac, the South Asia Correspondent for French publications La Croix and Le Point, Swiss newspaper Le Temps and Belgian daily Le Soir, said in a statement.

Last month, the Foreigners Regional Registration Office served a notice on Dougnac asking why her OCI card should not be cancelled, claiming she was “undertaking journalistic activities without any special permission as required under Citizenship Act 1955 and rules/regulations issued thereunder”.

She said leaving India was not her choice and that she was forced to by the government which had claimed that her articles were “malicious” and harming “the interests of the sovereignty and integrity of India”.

The notice to Dougnac also figured in the delegation-level talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron, who was the chief guest for the Republic Day celebrations.

On January 26, Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra, in response to a question, had said that France did “appreciate” India’s “frame of reference” to look at the case purely through a lens of compliance with rules.

“People are free to do what they are accredited to do in a given space. But here I think the principal issue is whether the person is compliant with the rules and regulations of the state under which they come,” Kwatra had said.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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