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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Chidambaram steps in

Cancellation of historian's visa to be reviewed: Chidambaram Deccan Herald - New Delhi, Mar 31, 2012, (PTI)
Cancellation of US historian Peter Heehs's visa to be reviewed: P Chidambaram Economic Times- 31 MAR, 2012, 02.58PM IST, PTI 
The Hindu: Home Ministry to examine March 31, 2012 Vinay Kumar
New Delhi, Mar 31, 2012, (PTI)
Home Minister P Chidambaram will review the decision on cancellation of the visa of a US historian Peter Heehs, living in Puducherry, and will take a decision on it by Monday.
Heehs was asked to leave the country after he had spent nearly four decades while working on a project of digitisation and archival of works of freedom fighter and spiritual leader Sri Aurobindo.
"This (decision to cancel the visa) was noticed by me this morning and I understand that the FRRO Puducherry passed the order. I have asked for a suo motu review and am told that the file would be submitted to me on Monday and I will take a decision on Monday," Chidambaram told reporters after presenting the monthly report of his ministry.
The American historian, who is an inmate of Sri Aurobindo Ashram, was told by the Regional Registration Office at Puducherry that his visa will not be extended.
Some historians had protested against the move of cancelling his visa and had also petitioned Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Chidambaram for reconsideration of decision.
New Delhi, March 31 (IANS)
Home Minister P. Chidambaram ordered a review of the decision on cancellation of the visa of US historian Peter Heehs, living in Puducherry, and said he will take a decision on it Monday.
"This (decision to cancel the visa) was noticed by me this morning and I understand that the FRRO (Foreigners Regional Registration Office) Puducherry passed the order," Chidambaram told reporters Saturday, after presenting the monthly report of his ministry.
"I have asked for a suo motu review and am told that the file would be submitted to me on Monday and I will take a decision on Monday," he said.
No reason has been assigned by the regional registration office at Puducherry for the decision, but it seems that Heehs' ninth book, "The Lives of Sri Aurobindo" has been targeted by some fundamentalists as denigratory and blasphemous.
Heehs, an inmate of Sri Aurobindo Ashram, has spent nearly 41 years working on a project of digitisation and archival of works of freedom fighter and spiritual leader Sri Aurobindo.
Many historians had protested against the move of cancelling his visa and had also petitioned Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Chidambaram for a review of the decision.
Home Ministry to examineVinay Kumar (Hindu)
Replying to question about American historian Peter Heehs, Mr. Chidambaram said that he would review the decision on cancellation of the visa to the historian who was living in Puducherry by Monday.
Mr. Heehs was asked to leave the country after he had spent nearly four decades while working on a project of digitisation and archival of works of freedom fighter and spiritual leader Sri Aurobindo.
“This (decision to cancel the visa) was noticed by me this morning and I understand that the FRRO Puducherry passed the order. I have asked for a suo motu review and I will take a decision on Monday,’’ Mr. Chidambaram told reporters.
Eminent historians and academics have protested against the move of cancelling the U.S. historian’s visa and have also petitioned Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Mr. Chidambaram for reviewing the decision.
A relief for Heehs, free speech, democracy

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