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India bars tourists from journalistic activities news
02 January 2013

The government has barred foreigners visiting the country on tourist visa from engaging in journalistic activities. The home ministry today issued an order after instances of foreigners coming on tourist visa involving in the coverage of events and other journalistic activities.

"Tourist visa is not the appropriate visa for journalistic activities by the foreigners. Tourist visa is issued to foreigners who do not have residence or occupation in India and whose sole objective of visiting India is recreation, sightseeing, casual visit to meet friends and relatives etc. No other activity is permissible on tourist visa," a home ministry release said today.

The action is a sequel to Roger Bilham, a geophysicist at the University of Colorado, engaging in journalistic activities while visiting India on multiple tourist visas since 1967.

Bilham had written 81 articles on Indian tectonics and on Indian nuclear projects and some scientists have alleged that Bilham's views were "scare-mongering".

Bilham, was detained at Indira Gandhi International airport here in May 2012, and denied entry to India.

The home ministry has requested the ministry of external affairs to convey the directive to all Indian missions/posts abroad. All state governments and authorities concerned in the country have also been requested to ensure strict compliance of the order, the release said.

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India bars tourists from journalistic activities