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Chetan Kumar, an actor and activist, claimed on Saturday that the Union government has revoked his Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) card and instructed him to return it within 15 days of receiving their letter.

Chetan, a US citizen, stated that he received a letter dated March 28 from the Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO), directing him to return the OCI card.

“I will seek the intervention of the Karnataka High Court in this matter and explore possible courses of action… The letter alleges that I violated certain guidelines and criticized a judge, but I have never been convicted of any such offense. The system does not want individuals to question injustice and inequality. This is not the first time, and it certainly will not be the last. My fight for a more equitable society will continue,” he said.

In June 2022, Chetan received a show-cause notice from the FRRO, asking him to explain why his OCI should not be cancelled. The notice cited derogatory comments against judges and alleged “anti-national” activities. Chetan responded by highlighting his years of social work and film-making in India, as well as his marriage to an Indian citizen. However, on April 14, the Ministry of Home Affairs revoked his OCI, deeming his response “unsatisfactory,” he claimed.

“The government’s actions are intended to instill fear and silence activists. Those in power do not seek to empower the oppressed, but rather to maintain the status quo. Activists like myself, who strive to make a difference, are often threatened with legal action and similar issues. This does not come as a surprise to me,” Chetan said.

In March, Chetan was arrested for allegedly offending religious sentiments with a tweet, marking his second arrest over a Twitter post. A person named Shivakumar filed a complaint with the police, alleging that Chetan’s tweet hurt Hindu sentiments.

In February 2022, Chetan was arrested for making comments against a judge of the Karnataka High Court who was handling the hijab case. The police took suo motu cognizance of his comments and detained him, although he was later released on bail.

In October 2022, Chetan faced legal action for stating that ‘Bhoota Kola’, as depicted in the film Kantara, was not a part of Hindu customs.

Chetan, who was born and raised in the United States, has previously advocated for issues concerning farmers, workers’ rights, Dalits, and Adivasis. He has been involved in movements to assist victims of endosulfan (2013), secure housing for tribals evicted from Kodagu (2016), and, more recently, to obtain a separate religious status for Lingayats.

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