Indian journalist Rana Ayyub went to the Delhi High Court on Thursday to seek judicial authorization to go abroad, a day after she was allegedly denied boarding on a flight to London. Rana was on her way to deliver a speech at the International Centre for Journalists (ICFJ).
Rana, a columnist for The Washington Post, who has been quite vocal against the current Modi Government and has often found herself at the receiving end of abuse, threats etc., was stopped by the Enforcement Directorate from boarding her flight, in lieu of the money laundering case that brought her name under the scanner, in February.
The 37-year-old alleges that the ED’s email containing the notice came through to her inbox after she was stopped by the authorities at the airport. Rana’s counsel has sought an early hearing, citing that the journalist has to travel to London and Italy for prior commitments and that her flight leaves on Friday. The special hearing is being presided over by Acting Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Navin Chawla.
Tweeting about the incident, she says, “I was stopped at Mumbai immigration from travelling to deliver this address & onwards to @journalismfest to deliver d (the) keynote speech on Indian democracy. I had made this announcement public over weeks, yet the ED summon very curiously arrived in my inbox after I was stopped.”
Rana is being probed by the ED in a case that was registered on the basis of an FIR filed in September last year, alleging irregularities in the funds that she collected for Covid-relief activities, which she has vehemently denied over months.