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Kashmiri Pandit Professor Nitasha Kaul Denied Entry To India: Who Is She

Nitasha Kaul, in 2019, testified as one of the key witnesses at a United States House Committee on Foreign Affairs hearing about the human rights situation in Kashmir, following the revocation of Article 370.

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Nitasha Kaul/X
Kashmiri Pandit Professor Nitasha Kaul Denied Entry To India | Photo: Nitasha Kaul/X
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Nitasha Kaul, a professor of Indian origin at the University of Westminster in the United Kingdom, claimed on social media platform X that she was denied entry by immigration officials upon her arrival at Bengaluru airport and subsequently deported.

Kaul, who had been invited by the Karnataka Government to attend an event, was unable to participate after being denied entry.

The event, titled the ‘Constitution and National Unity Convention,’ was scheduled for February 24 and 25 in Bengaluru and organised by the state’s Social Welfare Department.

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Sharing a copy of the invite sent to her by Social Welfare Minister H C Mahadevappa and her registration details for the event, she posted on X: 

“I was given no reason by immigration except ‘we cannot do anything, orders from Delhi’. My travel and logistics had been arranged by Karnataka and 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.”

Who Is Nitasha Kaul?

Nitasha Kaul is a London-based British writer, poet, and academic.  She writes fiction and gives talks on political economy, gender and identity, Bhutan, Kashmir and nationalism in India.

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Born in Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh, and raised in Delhi, Kaul belongs to a Kashmiri Pandit family. She currently serves as an Associate Professor in Politics and International Relations at the University of Westminster.

Kaul's scholarly interests include feminist issues concerning Kashmiri women, the rise of muscular neo-liberal nationalism in India, and an analysis of right-wing politics in India.

On October 22, 2019, Kaul testified as one of the key witnesses at a United States House Committee on Foreign Affairs hearing about the human rights situation in Kashmir, following the revocation of Article 370.

Why Was Kaul Denied Entry To India?

In her post on X, Kaul said that authorities unofficially indicated that she was denied entry into India as she has criticised the RSS in the past. 

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

Reacting to the development, the Karnataka BJP was quick to label the professor an "anti-India element."

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Taking to X, the party stated: Congress party has disgraced Indian Constitution by inviting a Pakistani sympathiser who wants India's break up. Don't you have any shame left CM @siddaramaiah? Are you trying to challenge the constitution & threaten the unity & integrity of India?”

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