Nitasha Kaul, a professor of politics and international relations at the University of Westminster in London, claimed that she was denied entry into India and deported from Bengaluru airport on February 25, 2024. Kaul, who is of Kashmiri origin, said that she was invited by the Karnataka government to participate in a seminar on the Constitution and national unity, but was refused entry by the immigration officials based on “orders from Delhi”.
Kaul, who holds a UK passport and an Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card, said that she had all the valid and current documents to enter India.Making a thread of her ordeal on X, she said that she was given no reason for the denial of entry, except that it was ordered by the Central Government. She also alleged that she was harassed and detained for hours at the airport, without any access to basic amenities or legal assistance. In the thread she mentioned that she was sent back to London on the next day, after spending 24 hours in a holding cell under CCTV surveillance.

Nitasha Kaul

Born to Kashmiri parents, Nitasha Kaul is a professor, author and current director of the Centre for the Study of Democracy (CSD) at the University of Westminister. Source: Nitasha Kaul/X

On social media site X, she posted, “I spent 12 hours in a flight from London to Bangalore, several hours at immig where they shuttled me here & there, provided no info on process, then 24 hours in a holding cell (no BA flight back until next day) under direct cctv w restricted movement, a narrow area to lie down” she further added, “This has been a harrowing ordeal, and the harassment, indignities, attempted intimidation that I have faced make me determined to continue doing the right thing w empathy for those who are enrolled into this pernicious antidemocratic common sense anywhere due to ignorance, and pity for those who do it out of malice.”
Look at her post here:

Kaul said that she was denied entry because of her opinions on “democratic and constitutional values”. She said that the airport officials made references to her earlier criticism of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the ideological parent of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Kaul is known for her outspoken views on the human rights situation in Kashmir, the abrogation of Article 370, and the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). She has also written several books and articles on Kashmir, democracy, and nationalism.

Nitasha Kaul

Nitasha Kaul seen in picture here with Rajmohan Gandhi the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi at the HfHR diaspora meet at Initiatives for Change in London. Source: Nitasha Kaul/X

Kaul said that she was shocked and saddened by the treatment she received in India, which she considers her homeland. She said that she was not anti-India, but anti-authoritarian and pro-democracy. Kaul is a globally respected academic and public intellectual, who cares for gender equity, civil liberties, rule of law, and sustainability. She has a BA Hons. in Economics from SRCC, Delhi University and a masters in Economics with a specialization in Public Policy from the University of Hull. She has also obtained a Joint Ph.D. in Economics and Philosophy from the same.
Kaul’s case has sparked outrage and condemnation from various quarters, including academics, activists, journalists, and politicians. They have criticized the Indian government for violating the rights and dignity of an OCI card holder, who is entitled to enter and stay in India without any restrictions. They have also questioned the arbitrary and opaque nature of the decision, which was taken without any prior notice or explanation. They have demanded an apology and an explanation from the government, and urged it to respect the freedom of expression and dissent of its citizens and visitors.
The Indian government has not officially commented on the case, but some BJP leaders have defended the decision and accused Kaul of being a “Pakistani sympathiser” and a “propagandist”. They have also claimed that Kaul was involved in anti-India activities and that she was a security threat to the country. They have said that the government has the right and the duty to protect the sovereignty and integrity of India from any external or internal enemies.

‘Orders from Delhi’: London-based writer Nitasha Kaul detained at Bengaluru airport, deported; Cong hits out at Modi govt


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