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Australian journalist Avani Dias “Abruptly Leaves” India After Visa Denial Over Reporting

An Australian journalist, Avani Dias, has claimed that the Indian government forced her to leave the country after refusing to extend her work visa. Dias said her reporting had “crossed a line” according to the government.

Dias was the South Asia Bureau Chief for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). She stated, “Last week, I had to leave India abruptly. The Modi Government told me my visa extension would be denied, saying my reporting ‘crossed a line’.”

The issue reportedly stemmed from Dias’s reporting on the assassination of Sikh separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar. She said, “We were also told my election accreditation would not come through because of an Indian Ministry directive. We left on day one of voting in the national election in what Modi calls ‘the mother of democracy.'”

Dias had been working in India for the past two-and-a-half years. After intervention from the Australian government, her visa was extended for two months, which she was informed of “less than 24 hours before my flight.”

ABC stated that an official from the Indian Ministry of External Affairs informed Dias that her “most recent Foreign Correspondent episode ‘crossed a line’.” Additionally, YouTube has blocked access in India to an ABC news series episode on the Nijjar killing.

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