An architecture professor from the United Kingdom’s University of Westminster on Sunday said that she was denied entry into India and was deported to London despite having a valid visa and passport.
The academician, Lindsay Bremner, said that she was made to take a flight back to London “without any room for recourse”. The Chennai airport cited “immigration issues” as the reason for denying her entry into India, Bremner added.
Bremner said in a Facebook post that her experience appeared to be part of a “growing trend by countries hostile to academics they think might be bad publicity”. She added that such incidents make a farce of the visa process.
In March, anthropologist Filippo Osella was deported to the United Kingdom from the Thiruvananthapuram airport. The immigration officials had not given a reason for deporting Osella.
Bremner on Monday told The Wire that she had landed in India for an academic visit. “I was granted a B-2 visa by the High Commission in London on the basis of an MoU my University has with IIT Madras in order to explore opportunities for further collaboration,” she said.
Her published work includes “Sedimentary logics and the Rohingya Refugee camps in Bangladesh” (2020), “Planning the Chennai Floods” (2020), “Thinking architecture from an Indian Ocean aquapelago” (2016), “Fluid Ontologies in the Search for MH370” (2014), “Folded Ocean: The Spatial Transformation of the Indian Ocean World” (2013) and “The Politics of Rising Acid Mine Water” (2013). She is also the author of Writing the City into Being: Essays on Johannesburg 1998 - 2008 (2010), winner of the Jane Jacobs Book Award in 2011.
In the academic paper on Chennai floods, she wrote that the deluge had put citizens “in the presence of the monsoon and its potency in new ways” and had “forced them to confront the precariousness of their co-existence with it”.
In November 2015, heavy rainfall caused massive floods in Chennai, Kanchipuram, Tiruvallur, Cuddalore and other parts of Tamil Nadu, leaving over 300 persons dead and causing losses running into several thousand crores of rupees.