An anthropologist and academician from the United Kingdom involved in research on fishing communities in Kerala on Monday (August 22) approached the Delhi High Court against denial of entry into India and his deportation upon arrival at Thiruvananthapuram airport earlier in 2022.
Justice Yashwant Varma asked the counsel for the Centre to seek instructions on the plea and listed the case for further hearing in October. In his plea, Filippo Osella, said that till date, the reasons behind his forceful deportation from Thiruvananthapuram airport and denial of entry on March 23 in spite of a valid visa are unknown and his representations to the authorities remain unanswered.
The social scientist said that the conduct of the authorities was unfair, unjust and arbitrary as well as ultra vires the Constitution of India, international law, and fundamental human rights and dignity.
Shockingly, when the petitioner landed in Thiruvananthapuram at 3.05 am after a journey of about twenty hours with a layover in Dubai, he was denied entry and was forcibly deported.
Reasons were disturbingly absent in this high-handed and arbitrary conduct of the immigration authorities at Thiruvananthapuram airport. By 4:30 am, the professor was literally marched back and bundled into the same aircraft in which he had arrived and was unjustly deported, much like a hardened criminal, the petition said.
The petitioner’s request for his blood pressure medications from his luggage was also not allowed creating extreme anxiety, hypertension and panic, added the plea which also informed that the incident invited a huge backlash in the national and international press as well as in the wide cross-section of the academic community.
The plea submitted that the petitioner had valid multiple entries twelve months research visa for India and has an unblemished travel record and none of the legally valid reasons for deportation applied to him.
Petitioner strongly believes in academic integrity and transparency as so every time the petitioner applied for a research visa to India, he declared his visits to Pakistan or elsewhere in South Asia. It must be noted that despite the fact that the petitioner has visited multiple South Asian countries, including Pakistan, he has always been granted appropriate visas for India, the plea said.
(With inputs from agencies)