Karnataka-invited UK professor denied entry upon arrival, deported back to London

In an online post, Professor Nitasha Kaul claimed immigration officials told her "we cannot do anything, orders from Delhi" when providing no explanation for denying her entry.

Shantanu Poswal
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A professor at the University of Westminster has claimed she was detained and deported upon arriving in Bengaluru to attend a conference organised by the opposition Congress party in Karnataka. Dr Nitasha Kaul, a faculty member in politics and international relations, alleged she was sent back to London without explanation after being held at Bengaluru International Airport.  

Dr Kaul shared online a copy of her invitation from Karnataka's Social Welfare Minister, H C Mahadevappa, to participate as a delegate at the ‘Constitution and National Unity Convention’. However, upon her arrival on Friday immigration authorities informed her that "orders from Delhi" meant she could not enter the country.  

"I was given no reason except 'we cannot do anything, orders from Delhi'", she posted, adding that her "travel and logistics had been arranged by Karnataka and I had the official letter with me". Officials reportedly questioned Dr Kaul over criticisms of the RSS she had previously made. She told Indian media: "This is not how a democracy works. It's tragic what's happening to the rule of law in India."

According to conference organisers, efforts were made to intervene with authorities in New Delhi to assist Dr Kaul’s entry, but ultimately without success. Sources allege several international attendees faced extensive questioning, but only Dr Kaul was denied entry and deported back to London the next day.  

Dr Kaul possesses an Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) card and claimed she has made personal visits to the country previously without issue. However, this marked her first official invitation - coinciding with a Congress-ruled state government event.  

The Indian government is yet to comment publicly on her claims of deportation. Meanwhile, the opposition BJP in Karnataka has accused Congress of “disgracing the constitution by inviting a Pakistani sympathiser who wants to break India”.