A New Zealand YouTuber has accused the Indian government of denying him entry into the country without specifying any reason, separating him from his wife and family in Delhi.
However, Union home ministry officials have denied the charges, saying that he was barred for violating visa conditions. He was found to be doing business activities on a tourist visa, unidentified officials told PTI.
In a tweet, Karl Edward Rice appealed to New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern against the Indian government’s decision. He has also started an online petition to garner support.
He tagged Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Union Home Ministry, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and others in his tweet for help. “They [the government] blacklisted me without telling me, giving reasons, or letting me reply,” Rice wrote.
Rice uses the name Karl Rock on YouTube and has 1.79 million, or 17.90 lakh, subscribers on his channel.
In his petition on Change.org, Rice said that the Indian government had cancelled his visa after he left the country to travel to Dubai and Pakistan in October. “They wouldn’t tell me why,” he claimed. “So in Dubai, I applied for a new visa. They called me in for a meeting and told me I had been blacklisted and therefore they couldn’t issue me a visa to go home.”
As many as 52,931 people have signed the petition as of Friday night.
Rice said he has approached the Delhi High Court seeking remedies and reversal of the government’s order.
He added that his wife Manisha Malik hails from Haryana and they got married in 2019. In another tweet, Rice said that he has not seen Malik in 269 days.
In a video, Rice said that he has approached the Indian High Commission officials in New Zealand as well as the Union Home Ministry seeking reasons for the ban. But, he said, that he has not received any response from them so far.
“It is very difficult for me to be away from my family,” he said in the video. Rice also called the Indian government “very very tough” and said the decision to restrict his entry was wrong.