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RSS-baiter UK professor denied entry at Bangalore airport after being made to wait 72 hours

Nitasha Kaul, a professor of politics and international relations at the University of Westminster who is also an Overseas Citizen of India (OCI), took to X to narrate her ordeal at the airport. She had arrived by a British Airways flight from London on February 23

K.M. Rakesh Bangalore Published 26.02.24, 05:37 AM
Nitasha Kaul

Nitasha Kaul Sourced by the Telegraph

A UK-based professor of Indian origin who has been critical of the RSS alleged on Sunday that she was denied entry by the immigration authorities at Bangalore airport after she was made to wait for 72 hours although she was a state government invitee for an event on the Constitution.

Nitasha Kaul, a professor of politics and international relations at the University of Westminster who is also an Overseas Citizen of India (OCI), took to X to narrate her ordeal at the airport. She had arrived by a British Airways flight from London on February 23.

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“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 stated in a thread on X.

Kaul added: “Decades of my work speaks for me. The officials informally made references to my criticism of RSS, a far-right Hindu nationalist paramilitary, from years ago. I have travelled to India numerous times since. I was invited by a state govt, but refused entry by the central govt.”

The Centre handles immigration matters.

“My origin is from a downtown mohalla in Srinagar, Kashmir, and I was born in Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh — the land of saffron to the ‘saffronisation' heartland,” Kaul wrote.

State social welfare minister H.C. Mahadevappa had in a letter dated February 5 invited her to speak at the "The Constitution and Unity of India" event held in the city over Saturday and Sunday.

“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 with 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,” Kaul wrote.

While the state government has yet to issue any statement on the issue, an aide of minister Mahadevappa confirmed to The Telegraph that Kaul couldn’t attend the event since she was denied entry to the city. “It was an immigration matter,” said the aide, who declined to be named.

Kaul described herself as “anti-authoritarian” and “pro-democracy” but not anti-Indian, and recalled facing online death threats for her comments against the Hindutva ideology.

“I am a globally respected academic & public intellectual, passionate about liberal democratic values.... I am not anti-Indian, I am anti-authoritarian & pro-democracy.”

“Rightwing #HindutvaTrolls have for years threatened me w death, rape, ban etc. In the past, authorities have sent police to my elderly ailing mother’s home to intimidate, even though I live in UK & my work has no connexion to her, a pious temple-going dezhor-wearing retired Hindi teacher & my sole surviving parent,” Kaul wrote.

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