'Orders From Delhi': UK Prof Nitasha Kaul Claims She Was Denied Entry Into India

Responding to the allegations, MEA spokesperson said that entry of foreign nationals is a "sovereign decision".

South Asians
3 min read
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UK-based professor Nitasha Kaul of the University of Westminster and an Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card holder alleged on Sunday, 25 February, that she was denied entry into India for a Karnataka government-hosted event in Bengaluru.

Kaul, who is a faculty member at Department of Politics, International Relations, and critical Interdisciplinary Studies at the university, claimed that she was invited by the state government to attend a conference called 'The Constitution and Unity of India' on 24-25 February.

"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)," she posted on X.

Responding to the allegations, Ministry of External Affair spokesperson on Thursday, 29 February, said that entry of foreign nationals is a sovereign decision.

"This particular UK national (Nitasha Kaul) came to India on 22nd Feb. As you know, the entry of foreign nationals into our country is a sovereign decision. I leave it at that," the MEA spokesperson said.

The Quint had reached out to the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs. The article will be updated as and when they respond.


"I was given no reason by immigration except ‘we cannot do anything, orders from Delhi," she claimed, adding that she did not get any prior notice from government about the same.

Further narrating her experience, Kaul claimed, "I spent 12 hours in a flight from London to Bangalore, several hours at immigration 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."

She also alleged that the authorities refused to provide her basic things like a pillow and blanket.

"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 government," she added.

Kaul further added that she is from Kashmir and was born in Uttar Pradesh's Gorakhpur.

Who is Nitasha Kaul? 

According to her resume, Kaul is a graduate in Economics Honours from Delhi University's Sri Ram College of Commerce, followed by a Master's in Economics, specialising in Public Policy, and a Joint PhD in Economics and Philosophy from the University of Hull, UK in 2003.

Between 2002 and 2007, Kaul served as an assistant professor of economics at the Bristol Business School. Later, in 2010, she ventured into the realm of creative writing, working as an associate professor at the Royal Thimphu College in Bhutan.


Aside from her academic pursuits, Kaul is a novelist, writer, and poet, and has also co-edited a special volume for Economic and Political Weekly (EPW) in 2018.

Her expertise extends beyond academia and has provided expert testimony at the US Congress on Kashmir and Human Rights following the 2019 revocation of Article 370.

She is also the Director of the Centre for the Study of Democracy (CSD) at the School of Social Sciences at the University. She has also served as a Reader and Senior Lecturer in Politics and International Relations at the University.

'Act of Dictatorship': Karnataka Social Welfare Minister

Reacting to Kaul's allegations, Karnataka's Social Welfare Minister Dr HC Mahadevappa said, "We highly condemn such act of dictatorship towards the values of Indian Constitution."

"We are deeply concerned about being denied entry to Nitasha Kaul to India. Speaking on democratic & constitutional values is a right we must uphold. Let's respect Freedom of Speech, a fundamental constitutional right, and encourage open dialogue for a stronger democracy," he posted on X.

"As we all know BJP is the party always against to the spirit of constitution. Because of their ignorance about our constitution values such things are taking place repeatedly," he added.

Meanwhile, state BJP president Vijayendra Yediyurappa called Kaul a "terrorist sympathizer" and condemned Congress for inviting her.

Highly Disgusting of the Siddaramaiah government to whitewash the crimes of "TUKDE TUKDE GANG" by inviting its sympathizer Nitasha Kaul for a talk on "Constitution & Unity of India. A known terrorist sympathizer & one who constantly spews venom & disseminates anti-India propaganda in connivance with the enemies of the Indian state is accorded a RED carpet welcome by the Congress ruled Karnataka government is highly condemnable & an unpardonable crime," Yediyurappa claimed.

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Topics:  London   Home Ministry   Indian Origin 

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