Thursday, January 26, 2012

Unlawful stay of Peter Heehs

Row over book on Sri Aurobindo | Newzstreet:  'via Blog this'   - ODISHA TELEVISION lTD BhubaneswarThe devotees and admirers of Sri Aurobindo, great freedom fighter and spiritualist, have questioned the unlawful stay of American author and writer Peter Heehs after the author petitioned the Odisha High Court to reconsider its ban order on his book on Aurobindo titled "The Lives of Sri Aurobindo". 

The Odisha High had banned the sale and distribution of the controversial book "The Lives of Sri Aurobindo" and the home department of the state government even had on April 9, 2009 published the order in the gazette notification. The American author has recently filed a review petition in the High Court through his counsel to reconsider its ban order following which the court has asked the chief secretary to furnish his reply within two weeks.

Peeved at Peter Heehs' petition in the High Court, devotees of Sri Aurobindo have questioned the unlawful stay of Heehs in India. Argued Prabhu Charan Acharya, follower of Aurobindo,"The Home Ministry of the Government of India had cancelled the visa of Peter Heehs and he has been staying in India illegally. How could a man whose visa has been cancelled by the Government of India file a petition in the High Court flouting the rules?"

Followers of Sri Aurobindo both from Puducherry and Odisha were planning to meet the chief secretary and demand continuation of the ban order. The counsel of Peter Heehs however was not available for comment. 

PTI | 08:01 PM, Jan 27, 2012 Bhubaneswar, Jan 27 (PTI)
Seeking arrest of Peter Heehs, a US national, who allegedly made defamatory comments on Sri Aurobindo in his book 'The Lives of Sri Aurobindo', the disciples of Sri Maa and Sri Aurobindo today urged the Odisha government to arrange for his deportation from the country. "Investigate and seek clarification from the Ministry of Home Affairs, as to how a foreign national, declared by the state government to be promoting communal tension and strife and whose visa has been cancelled by the Ministry of Home Affairs, can continue to live in India," the disciples said in a memorandum to the state's Chief Secretary B K Patnaik.

The state government through a gazette notification in 2009 had banned the book published by Colombia University Press, New York. Claiming that Peter Heehs had challenged the state government's gazette notification in the Orissa High Court recently, they expressed surprise over how a foreign national was allowed to challenge a government order pertaining to law and order which is the country's internal matter. "We request the government to take the process to its logical conclusion and ensure the arrest and deportation of Peter Heehs," Prabhu Charan Acharya, a devotee, said. The devotees also rejected Peter Heehs's claim that he was one of the founders of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram Archives.

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