YouTuber Karl Rock, who has been barred from entry in India since last October, had violated the terms of his visa, the Union Home Ministry said today. Married to an Indian, the New Zealand national has been blacklisted by the Centre and he has raised the matter with several authorities, both here and in his home country.
Mr Rock’s wife, Manisha Malik, meanwhile, has approached the Delhi High Court challenging the Centre’s alleged “arbitrary and unreasonable” decision, a PTI report has said. She has cited Article 21, which guarnatees one the fundamental right to life and dignity, to oppose the government. It is likely to come up for hearing next week, it said.
The YouTuber, whose real name is Karl Edward Rice, makes videos on travel safety, interesting destinations, avoid scams etc — in both English and Hindi — and has close 1.8 million subscribers to his YouTube channel. He is married to Ms Malik of Delhi since April 2019.
Following their marriage, Mr Rock was granted an X-2 Visa (meant for spouses/children of an Indian citizen) which was valid up to May 2024, PTI reported. One of the visa conditions for him was to exit India every 180 days or to intimate the Foreigner Regional Registration Office concerned, it said.
It was in compliance with this rule that he left for Dubai last year, the report said.
“I left India in October 2020 to travel to Dubai and Pakistan. When I left through the New Delhi International Airport, they cancelled my Visa. They would not tell me why they were cancelling my visa,” Mr Rock said in a YouTube video posted yesterday and titled “Why I haven’t seen my wife in 269 days #Blacklisted”.
It was the Indian High Commission in Dubai that apparently informed him of having been blacklisted.
In a Tweet tagging New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, he said “they blacklisted me without telling me, giving reasons, or letting me reply”.
“We have written multiple emails to the Home Ministry. No reply. My wife turned up at the Home Ministry’s doorstep in Delhi. No help,” Mr Rock said.
Officials in the Union Home Ministry today said his entry to India has been restricted till next year following the violation of the terms and conditions of his visa.
“He was found to be taking part in business activities on a tourist visa and also violating other visa conditions,” they said without specifying.