Indian origin professor says she was not allowed to enter Karnataka, sent back to London


An Indian origin professor, Nitasha Kaul, has accused the Indian government of not allowing her to enter Karnataka despite an invitation from the Congress government in the state.
Nitasha Kaul

In a series of posts on X, formerly Twitter, Kaul wrote, “IMPORTANT: Denied entry to #India for speaking on democratic & constitutional values. I was invited to a conference as esteemed delegate by Govt of #Karnataka (Congress-ruled state) but Centre refused me entry. All my documents were valid & current (UK passport & OCI).

“I was given no reason by immigration except ‘we cannot do anything, orders from Delhi’. My travel & logistics had been arranged by Karnataka & I had the official letter with me. I received no notice or info in advance from Delhi that I would not be allowed to enter.”

Kaul, who has been a known critic of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, said that she was kept for 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 and no easy access to food and water, made dozens of calls to airport for basic things as a pillow and blanket, which they refused to provide, then 12 hours on the flight back to London.’

“I am a globally respected academic & public intellectual, passionate about liberal democratic values. I care for gender equity, challenging misogyny, sustainability, civil & political liberties, rule of law. I am not anti-Indian, I am anti-authoritarian & pro-#democracy,” she added.

The Indian government has not responded to her allegations yet.

Karnataka Congress MLA Rizwan Arshad, according to news agency PTI, said, “Renowned academic professor Nitasha Kaul was invited by the Karnataka government. She came here and landed at the airport but she was denied entry without any valid reason. A state government in a federal system invites an academic who is of Indian origin but she was told by the central government that she cannot enter the country. Is it just because she doesn’t subscribe to your ideology? Is this dictatorship in the country today? Is there no freedom of expression or no freedom to participate in a debate on the Constitution?”

Kaul asked in her concluding post, “How can the world’s largest democracy be threatened by my pen & the word? How is it ok for centre to not allow a professor to be at a conference on Constitution where she was invited by state govt? To give no reason? Not the India we cherish, is it?”

Kaul also denied allegations that she was married to a Pakistani national or had converted to Islam.

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