Denial of entry to prof Nitasha Kaul  at Bengaluru airport triggers political slugfest

Bengaluru : UK academic Nitasha Kaul was deported on arrival in Bengaluru on the basis of a ‘preventive lookout circular’ on her after agencies flagged her consistent “pro-separatists” and “anti India” line on Kashmir at public fora, government sources said. The OCI card holder was invited to a meet on India’s Constitution by Karnataka government. She claimed on X that immigration officers said her entry was being barred on “order from Delhi”.

Denial of entry of Nitasha Kaul ignited a heated exchange of words between the ruling congress and opposition. The BJP criticized the congress for inviting what they termed an “anti-India” propagandist. BJP state president BY Vijayendra condemned the Congress govt’s decision, accusing them of supporting sympathizers of the ‘TUKDE TUKDE GANG” and wasting on unnecessary expenditures.

Congress slammed the BJP-led Centre, saying Kaul’s deportation was “unfortunate” and an “insult” to the state of Karnataka. The congress criticized the denial citing concerns over individual rights and the autonomy of state government. Congress Minister emphasized the incident as a violation of state rights and urged patriotic Indians to reflect on the threats to the constitutional idea of India. Meanwhile, the Karnataka BJP took to X to thank security agencies at the immigration for catching an “anti-India element” and termed Nitasha Kaul a “Pakistani sympthatiser “. Former Infosys chief finance officer Mohandas Pai, echoed that sentiments of BJP leaders, justifying Professor Kaul’s deportation and suggesting she continue her activities outside of India.

The BJP, on the other hand, took a swipe at the ruling Congress in Karnataka and Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, asking if, by inviting the author, he is “trying to challenge the Constitution and threaten the unity and integrity of India”. “No money to spend on drought relief or developmental needs of Karnataka, but Siddaramaiah is happy to finance the Break India Brigade in an effort to appease Rahul Gandhi and save his CM Chair, all in the name of Dr. Ambedkar’s constitution. What a disgrace,” Karnataka BJP tweeted.

Prof. Nitasha Kaul, a faculty member at the University of Westminister, expressed her dismay over the incident, stating she was denied entry despite being invited as an esteemed delegate by the Congress ruled state govt of Karnataka. She highlighted the rejection as a hindrance to discussion of democratic and constitutional values.