NEW DELHI: A New Zealand national has accused the Indian government of denying him entry without specifying any reasons leading to his "separation" from his Indian wife, a charge the Home Ministry rejected saying he was barred due to violation of visa conditions.
Karl Edward Rice, who claims to be a content creator, appealed to New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and also approached the Delhi High Court for the withdrawal of the Indian government's decision to "blacklist" him.
He also launched an online petition to gather public opinion in his support.
"Dear @jacindaardern, the Govt. of India has blocked me from entering India separating me from my wife & family in Delhi. They blacklisted me without telling me, giving reasons, or letting me reply. Please watch my struggle https://t.co/dq0Z98SCFw @NZinIndia," he tweeted from a handle @iamkarlrock along with a video of his life story.
He claimed that his wife Manisha Malik hails from Haryana and they married in 2019.
He also claimed that he was COVID-19 positive last year and after his recovery he donated plasma twice in Delhi to help people recover from the virus.
When contacted, Union Home Ministry officials said the New Zealand national has been restricted from entering India till the next year for violating terms and conditions of his visa.
He was found to be doing business activities on a tourist visa and also violating other visa conditions, they said without specifying.
In the video, Rice claimed that about eight months ago, when he was about to leave for Dubai and Pakistan, he was told at the airport that his Indian visa has been cancelled.
Since then he has approached MHA officials and Indian High Commission officials in New Zealand seeking reasons for the visa ban.
However, he said, he has not received any reply from anyone so far.
Rice said that he has approached the Delhi High Court seeking remedies and reversal of the government decision of banning his entry.
He said that he has visited every Indian state and Union Territory -- from Mizoram to Lakshadweep -- and that India is his "passion".
"It is very difficult for me to be away from my family," he said in the video and appealed people to sign the attached online petition in his support.
Describing the Indian government "very, very tough", the New Zealander said it was "very wrong" of India to "exile" him from his family.
He said he had undergone "separation trauma" and "panic attack" in the past and was very unhappy with his life.
He also said he would fight back the government's decision and hoped to visit India again.