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France raises with India issue of notice to Delhi-based French journalist

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NewsDrum Desk
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New Delhi, Jan 26 (PTI) France has raised with India the issue of Indian authorities serving a notice to New Delhi-based French journalist Vanessa Dougnac, allegedly over violation of certain rules.

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The matter was taken up with New Delhi during the visit of French President Emmanuel Macron, officials said.

India conveyed to the French side that the issue is about "compliance with the rules and regulations of the country", indicating that it is not related to her journalism.

"This has been brought to our attention by the French side both prior to the visit (of President Macron) and during the visit," Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra said at a media briefing while replying to a question on the issue.

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He said the matter is being handled by the relevant government department.

The Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO) that operates under the Union Home Ministry issued a notice to Dougnac, asking her to explain why her Overseas Citizen of India card should not be withdrawn, citing certain violations of rules.

"We are aware of the matter and it is being dealt with by the relevant department," Kwatra said, adding the frame of reference to look at the matter is the "compliance with the rules and regulations of the country." "I do not think this has got anything else to do with other aspects of journalism etc. The principal issue is whether the person is compliant with the rules and regulations of the state under which they come," he said.

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Kwatra said the Indian side shared its position on the matter with the French side and it appreciated the "frame of reference in which we are looking at this".

Dougnac has been based in New Delhi since 2001 and works for French newspaper La Croix.

It is learnt that the notice was issued to her on January 18 and she has been given 15 days time to respond to it. PTI MPB ZMN

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