A group of Indian intellectuals is demanding the government lift its ban on American writer and broadcaster David Barsamian from visiting the country.
Barsamian says he has been visiting India for decades and had planned a three-week trip to conduct interviews in the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir and elsewhere.
New Delhi airport authorities turned him away Sept. 23. The Home Ministry said Friday that his visa was not valid, but the 44 intellectuals say in a statement that his visa was good for another five years.
The group notes a "growing arbitrariness of the Indian government in dealing with dissent."
Barsamian is founder of the Boulder, Colorado-based weekly public affairs program "Alternative Radio," which posted both statements on its website.
Alternative Radio: http://www.alternativeradio.org/