NEW DELHI— India has stripped a prominent writer of his citizenship status after he wrote an article describing Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the country’s ‘‘divider-in-chief.’’
The move was denounced by advocates for press freedom, who called it a ‘‘vindictive’’ step that shows India’s ruling party is increasingly ‘‘intolerant of criticism.’’
Aatish Taseer was born in Britain and currently lives in the United States. He moved to India at the age of 2, where he was raised by a single mother, Tavleen Singh, who is a noted Indian columnist.
His father was Salman Taseer, who became a political leader in Pakistan and was assassinated in 2011 after he opposed the country’s anti-blasphemy law.
India does not recognize dual citizenship. But people of Indian origin and their spouses can apply for a special status that confers many of the benefits of citizenship .
Taseer held such status, which is currently known as an Overseas Citizenship of India card.
Late Thursday, a spokeswoman for India’s Ministry of Home Affairs wrote on Twitter that Taseer was ‘‘ineligible’’ for such citizenship because he had ‘‘concealed the fact that his late father was of Pakistani origin.’’