14 Apr 2012

Chidambaram intervenes, US historian gets 1-yr visa extension

Aloke Tikku, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, April 13, 2012

Controversial US historian Peter Heehs on Friday got a year’s visa extension, two days before the April 15 deadline set by immigration authorities for him to leave the country. Home minister P Chidambaram granted the extension to the author of The Lives of Sri Aurobindo, overruling the recommendation of ministry and immigration officials.

“The decision has been conveyed to officials in Puducherry,” a government source said. Heehs got a one-year multiple entry visa on the recommendation of Sri Aurobindo Ashram.  

[emphasis added, click on title for full text]

Chidambaram had ordered a suo motu review of the Puducherry Foreigners Registration Officer’s decision not to extend the visa after Hindustan Times first reported it. By then, historians Romila Thapar and Ramachandra Guha and rural development minister Jairam Ramesh had come out in Heehs’s support.

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