Aakash Hassan, a Kashmiri journalist who writes for The Guardian, said that he was stopped on Tuesday at the Delhi airport from flying to Sri Lanka’s Colombo.
The immigration officials at the Delhi airport allegedly did not give him a reason for not being allowed to leave the country.
In a series of tweets, Hassan said that he was on the way to Colombo to report on Sri Lanka’s worst-ever economic crisis.
After allegedly taking his passport and boarding pass, the immigration officials made the journalist sit in a room for nearly five hours.
While waiting, Hassan said he was not even offered water to drink.
“A staff from the airlines I was travelling in told me that officials have directed them to offload my luggage from the aircraft,” he said. “I was questioned by two officials about my background, travel purpose.”
Finally, the journalist said he was given his passport and the boarding pass with a “Cancelled Without Prejudice” rejection stamp on it.
This was not the first time a Kashmiri journalist has been stopped from leaving India without a reason.
On July 2, Sanna Irshad Mattoo, a Pulitzer Prize-winning Kashmiri photojournalist, had said that she was stopped from flying from Delhi to Paris.
Mattoo said she had a valid French visa, but the immigration officials at Delhi airport refused to allow her to leave the country.
She was headed to Paris for a book launch and a photography exhibition as one of 10 winners of the Serendipity Arles Grant 2020.
Earlier in 2019, journalist Gowhar Geelani was stopped at the Delhi airport from travelling to a journalists’ conference in Germany.
When Geelani had asked an immigration officer to show a written order seeking to stop him from flying, he was allegedly told that no explanation could be provided to him.