UK-based Kashmiri Pandit Prof invited by Karnataka govt sent back from Airport; BJP calls her ‘Pakistani sympathiser’

News Network
February 26, 2024

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Bengaluru: A professor of Indian origin at the University of Westminster in the United Kingdom who was invited by the Karnataka Government to attend an event here was denied entry when she landed at Bengaluru airport and was then deported, according to her posts on social media platform X. 

Professor Nitasha Kaul, a Kashmiri Pandit academic based in London, in a series of posts on X claimed she was given no reason by immigration officials at Bengaluru airport and received no notice or information in advance from the Indian government that she would not be allowed to enter the country.

There was no immediate comment from the Karnataka government, which had organised a two day 'Constitution and National Unity Convention -2024' on February 24 and 25, to which Kaul was invited as a speaker.

In a post on X (formerly Twitter), the Kashmiri Pandit academic based in London wrote, “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)."

Kaul claimed that she was given no reason by immigration officials at Bengaluru airport and received no notice or information in advance from the Narendra Modi-led Indian government that she would not be allowed to enter the country.

“I spent 12 hours in a flight from London to Bangalore, several hours at immig 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 w restricted movement, a narrow area to lie down," she said.

“…and no easy access to food and water, made dozens of calls to airport for basic things as a pillow and blanket, which they refused to provide, then 12 hours on the flight back to London," she added. 

Reacting to the development, the Karnataka BJP was quick to label the professor an "anti-India element" and a part of what it called a 'Break India Brigade', criticizing the Karnataka Government and Chief Minister Siddaramaiah for extending an invitation to Kaul. 

The BJP also went on to label Kaul a "Pakistani sympathiser" and posted headings of a couple of her writings on X. 

The saffron party claimed the Congress government was "threatening the unity & integrity of India" by extending an invitation to the Kashmiri Pandit professor -- who has written and spoken extensively on Kashmir, Bhutan, and other topics.

The BJP used the opportunity to claim that the Congress is "now using Karnataka as its laboratory to prepare the ground for its divisive agendas". "Thanks to our security agencies, one such anti-India element was caught suspiciously entering India and detained at the airport", it further said.  

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News Network
April 4,2024

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Mangaluru: Air India Express commenced direct flight operations between Mangaluru and Jeddah on Wednesday, April 3.

Officials from Mangaluru International Airport and Air India Express gathered to witness this historic launch, marking the framework connecting the coastal town with modern commercial hub and gateway for pilgrimages, to the Islamic holy cities of Makkah and Madinah.

Jeddah is the eighth international destination served by Mangaluru International Airport. The inaugural leg of weekly flight IX 797 from Mangaluru to Jeddah flew in from Tiruchirappalli as IX 1499, also a new domestic connection for Mangaluru. The flight had108 passengers on board, flying to Jeddah. 

Devouts embarking for Umrah, an Islamic pilgrimage made up for most of passengers who took the inaugural flight to Jeddah. Shabih Ahmed Kazi, a businessman who was among the first passengers to purchase a ticket for this flight, while thanking both the airport and the airline, hoped that the frequency between the two destinations will increase.

Nirmala Cardoza, another passenger, said the direct flight to Jeddah is a realisation of 29-year-long-wait. 

The departure hall of the Airport wore a festive look for the inaugural flight.  Mukesh Nankani, chief airport officer lit the traditional lamp along with heads of major stakeholder departments including the Customs, Immigration, Airport Security Group of CISF and HODs of the airport.

Nankani later joined the young travelers and Kazi in cutting a celebratory cake and handed over the boarding pass to the first passenger to add to the festive atmosphere. 

The Airport presented a rose, a certificate, and a pouch of assorted dry fruits to the passengers who boarded the inaugural Jeddah flight.

The Airport gave a traditional welcome to flight IX 1499 skippered by Captain Anmol Deep Sin Padda when it arrived from Tiruchirappalli. Captain Anmol later steered the inaugural flight to Jeddah with a new set of crew. The flight from Tiruchirappalli to Jeddah via Mangaluru will operate every Wednesday and the return flight on Thursday.

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News Network
April 11,2024

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Udupi: A middle aged couple lost their lives while their teenage son survived with critical wounds after a speeding car, which was travelling from Maharashtra to Kerala, fell off a flyover in Kundapur taluk of Udupi district. 

The deceased have been identified as Munnavar (49), who was driving the car, and his wife Sameera (41), a native of Kannur in Kerala. Their son Suhail (18), who was in the car, suffered severe injured and is recovering at Manipal Hospital. He is said to be out of danger.

The family was traveling from Kollapur to Kannur as Sameera was a native of Kannur. Their plan was to celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr in Sameera’s parental home.  

However, on Tuesday (April 9) morning, when the car reached near Bobbaryanakatte, it reportedly went out of control of the driver and fell off the flyover on to the service road.

All three were immediately rushed to the hospital in Kundapur. Sameera died immediately upon admission to the hospital, while Munnavar succumbed to injuries at Manipal Hospital on April 10. The mortal remains of both were handed over to relatives after the post-mortem.

Kundapur DySp Belliyappa, Circle Inspector Nada Kunar, Traffic SIs Naveen Naik, and Savitri Nayak visited the accident spot for the inspection.

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News Network
April 9,2024

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Mangaluru/ Bengaluru, Apr 2: Karnataka’s coastal belt some of the neighbouring areas will celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr on April 10, while rest of the state will witness the festival on April 11 due confusion over moon sighting. 

Muslim religious heads in twin coastal districts of Dakshina Kannada and Udupi on the night of April 9 declared the end of Ramadan and beginning of Shawwal following reports of sighting of crescent moon. 

With this Eid will be celebrated on April 10 in the above region. Similarly, Muslims in Bhatkal and neighbouring state of Kerala too will celebrate the festival on April 10. 

However, Muslims in other parts of Karnataka will continue to fast on April 10 and celebrate the Eid on the following day due to non-sighting of moon in their region. 

The Karnataka Moon Sighting Committee chairman Moulana Maqsood Imran formally announced that the Eid-ul-Fitr in Bengaluru and areas of Karnataka will be celebrated on Thursday April 11. 

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