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As ABC’s Avani Dias lies about visa extension, 30 foreign correspondents join the activism bandwagon, write ‘open letter’ to support the Khalistani sympathiser

India Today journalist Geeta Mohan called her out for the lies propagated against India. Quoting official sources, she debunked the falsehoods and noted that Dias was in fact found to have violated visa rules while undertaking her professional endeavours.

On 23rd April, a group of journalists wrote an open letter to show solidarity with anti-India “journalist” Avani Dias of ABC News. The letter was shared by the South Asia bureau chief of Financial Times John Reed on social media platform X (formerly Twitter). Signed by 30 foreign correspondents, the letter propagated the same lies Dias and ABC News propagated regarding her Visa status and accreditations to cover the ongoing Lok Sabha Elections 2024.

The letter claimed that Dias has been covering India since January 2022 and after her reporting on Khalistanis, her Visa renewal became difficult. She was told she had “crossed a line”, the letter claimed. Furthermore, the letter said though her Visa was extended for two months at the last moment, Dias was categorically told “she would not receive accreditation to cover the election”. It added, “Thus, though not technically expelling her, Indian authorities have effectively pushed out a foreign correspondent on the eve of an election that the government describes as the largest democratic exercise in the world.”

“Foreign journalists in India have grappled with increased restrictions on visas and journalism permits for those holding the status of Overseas Citizen of India. The circumstances of Ms Dias’s departure are further cause for concern. We call on the Indian government to facilitate the vital work of a free press in line with India’s democratic traditions,” the letter read in the conclusion.

Arguments in favour of Avani Dias are factually incorrect

Interestingly, the 30 journalists who wrote the open letter narrated the same story Avani Dias and ABC News narrated. It appears they did not bother to factually check the statements before writing the open letter. As reported by OpIndia earlier, claims laid down by the South Asia Bureau Chief of ABC News were incorrect, misleading and mischievous.

India Today journalist Geeta Mohan called her out for the lies propagated against India. Quoting official sources, she debunked the falsehoods and noted that Dias was in fact found to have violated visa rules while undertaking her professional endeavours. She added that despite this, she was informed that her visa would be extended at her request for the coverage of the Lok Sabha elections.

Indian journalists have criticized the activism and have pointed out that a simple verification by the signatories would have given them the truth. However, they chose to indulge in elitism and activism instead of doing basic journalistic duties.

Avani Dias propagated a lie about her visa details

On 23rd April, the South Asia Bureau Chief of the Australian Broadcasting Company (ABC) News, Avani Dias, took to X (formerly Twitter) to claim that she had to leave India abruptly as the Modi government told her an extension of her visa would be denied as her reporting had “crossed a line”.

The controversial ‘journalist’ also claimed that the Indian government had plans to not allow her accreditation to cover the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. Dias claimed that her visa was extended for 2 months at the last minute, following which she went back to Australia. She lamented returning to her home country just a day before the first phase of the elections.

Thereafter, her employer ABC News published a controversial article claiming that Dias received a phone call from the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and was notified about the denial of her visa extension. The publication said that MEA informed the ‘journalist’ that she crossed a line with her propaganda-laden YouTube video, which suggested that India was somehow involved in the assassination of Canada-based Khalistani terrorist Hardeep Singh Nijjar.

Nonetheless, the Modi government directed YouTube to withhold the anti-India propaganda video by ABC News and its South Asia Bureau Chief Avani Dias. “This content is currently unavailable in this country because of an order from the government related to national security or public order,” reads a message on the YouTube link of the video.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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