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Invited by Karnataka Govt, Writer Nitasha Kaul Says Centre 'Denied Entry to India’

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By ETV Bharat English Team

Published : Feb 25, 2024, 10:36 PM IST

Nitasha Kaul, writer and professor of politics at the University of Westminster in London, was invited to speak at a conference on Constitution of India. She, however, was denied entry at Bengaluru airport.

Nitasha Kaul, a Kashmiri pandit by birth, noted writer and professor of politics at the University of Westminster in London, claimed on Sunday that she was not allowed entry into India on Friday and deported from Bangalore airport on the orders of the central government.
Nitasha Kaul, a Kashmiri pandit by birth, noted writer and professor of politics at the University of Westminster in London (Source: X@NitashaKaul)

Bengaluru: Nitasha Kaul, a noted writer and professor of politics at the University of Westminster in London, claimed on Sunday that she was not allowed entry into India on Friday and deported from Bangalore airport on the orders of the central government.

A Kashmiri Pandit by birth, Nitasha said she had been invited by the Congress government in Karnataka to speak at its Constitution and National Unity Convention on Saturday and Sunday. She was to speak on the topic “Constitution and Democracy”. However, after landing in Bengaluru, Nitasha said she was denied permission to leave the airport despite having a valid visa.

Nitasha is an Overseas Citizen of India and is known for her criticism of the RSS. “I was given no reason by immigration except ‘We cannot do anything, orders from Delhi’,” Kaul said on X. “I received no notice or info in advance from Delhi that I would not be allowed to enter.” She was deported back to London on a British Airways flight 24 hours after she first landed in India.

Kaul alleged that she had spent several hours at immigration, was provided with little information about the situation and was then held in a cell for 24 hours under CCTV observation. Her movements were restricted in the cell that had only a narrow area for her to lie down, without easy access to food and water. “Made dozens of calls to airport for basic things such as a pillow and blanket, which they refused to provide,” Kaul said on X.

She alleged: “The officials informally made references to my criticism of the RSS, a far-right Hindu nationalist paramilitary from years ago. I have traveled to India numerous times since. I was invited by a state government but refused entry by the central government.”

Kaul said she has been threatened with rape and death by “right wing Hindutva trolls” but had dismissed them as petty. On Sunday, she expressed concern for her personal safety, saying, “If I come to any accident, it probably merits a closer look.”

She also compared herself to “the ranks of the Tibetan exiles and Ukrainian exiles, and others throughout history who have faced the arbitrary exercise of brute unreasoning power”.

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