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Business News/ News / India/  Kashmiri Pandit Prof in UK Nitasha Kaul denied entry to India despite invitation from Karnataka govt - here's why

Kashmiri Pandit Prof in UK Nitasha Kaul denied entry to India despite invitation from Karnataka govt - here's why

Indian-origin professor Nitasha Kaul was denied entry in India despite a valid UK passport and OCI, after being invited by Karnataka Government. BJP criticized the government, calling her an 'anti-India element' and 'Pakistani sympathiser'.

Indian-origin professor Nitasha Kaul. (X)Premium
Indian-origin professor Nitasha Kaul. (X)

The Karnataka Government had invited Indian-origin professor Nitasha Kaul to attend an event here, however, the academic at the University of Westminster in the United Kingdom was denied entry when she landed at Bengaluru airport.

In a post on X (formerly Twitter), the Kashmiri Pandit academic based in London wrote, “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)."

Kaul claimed that she was given no reason by immigration officials at Bengaluru airport and received no notice or information in advance from the Indian government that she would not be allowed to enter the country.

There was no immediate comment from the Karnataka government, which had organized a two-day 'Constitution and National Unity Convention -2024' on February 24 and 25, to which Kaul was invited as a speaker.

“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 said.

“…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," she added. 

Reacting to the development, the Karnataka BJP was quick to label the professor an "anti-India element" and a part of what it called a 'Break India Brigade', criticizing the Karnataka Government and Chief Minister Siddaramaiah for extending an invitation to Kaul. 

The BJP also went on to label Kaul a "Pakistani sympathiser" and posted headings of a couple of her writings on X. 

The saffron party claimed the Congress government was "threatening the unity & integrity of India" by extending an invitation to the Kashmiri Pandit professor -- who has written and spoken extensively on Kashmir, Bhutan, and other topics.

The BJP used the opportunity to claim that the Congress is "now using Karnataka as its laboratory to prepare the ground for its divisive agendas". "Thanks to our security agencies, one such anti-India element was caught suspiciously entering India and detained at the airport", it further said. 


(With PTI inputs)

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Published: 26 Feb 2024, 07:08 AM IST
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