BJP is brazenly weaponising passports, revoking OCI cards: Mehbooba Mufti

PDP president says the BJP is imposing illegal travel bans to harass and punish its critics, including ‘Aatish Taseer, Ashok Swain and now Nitasha Kaul’

February 27, 2024 01:06 am | Updated 01:06 am IST - SRINAGAR

A file photo of PDP president Mehbooba Mufti

A file photo of PDP president Mehbooba Mufti | Photo Credit: NISSAR AHMAD

Former Jammu & Kashmir Chief Minister and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti on Monday accused the BJP of “weaponising” passports and imposing “illegal travel bans to harass and punish” its critics.

“BJP is brazenly weaponising passports, revoking OCI (Overseas Citizen of India) cards and imposing illegal travel bans to harass & punish its critics. Aatish Taseer, Ashok Swain and now Nitasha Kaul. Stand in solidarity with Nitasha for the harrowing experience she was put through only because she doesn’t agree with their hateful divisive ideology,” Ms. Mufti said on social media platform X.

Dr. Kaul, a professor of Indian origin at the University of Westminster in the U.K., was denied entry when she landed at the Bengaluru airport to attend an event to which she had been invited by the Karnataka government. She was later deported.

Prof. Kaul, in a series of posts on X, claimed that she had been given no reason by the immigration officials at the Bengaluru airport and received no notice or information in advance from the Indian government that she would not be allowed to enter the country.

“I am not married to a Pakistani, not Muslim convert, not a pawn of China, not a puppet of the West, not a commie, not a jihadi, not Pak sympathiser, not terrorist supporter, not anti-India, not part of a gang. I am what authoritarians fear - a thinking woman,” Prof. Kaul said, while terming her recent experience “harrowing”. “But the humiliation is not mine, it is that of a ridiculous insecure regime,” she added.

Earlier, the Sweden-based Professor Swain’s OCI card was cancelled by the Union government. The Person of Indian Origin card of Mr. Taseer, a writer, was cancelled and merged into an OIC card in 2015.

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