India blacklists New Zealand vlogger Karl Rock, cancels his visa. Here's why
India blacklisted Karl Rock, a YouTuber of New Zealand origin for one year over visa violations, news agency ANI reported on Saturday citing officials at the Union ministry of home affairs who confirmed the development. The vlogger had earlier claimed that the government added him to the blacklist without giving him a reason after he left India to travel to Dubai and Pakistan, thereby separating him from his wife and family in New Delhi.
The Centre's stance on the matter was also confirmed by news agency PTI a day ago. Citing unidentified officials familiar with the development, reported that the Union home ministry blacklisted Karl Rock for violating visa conditions since the vlogger was found doing business on a tourist visa.
"New Zealand origin vlogger Karl Rock has been blacklisted by the Government of India for violating multiple visa norms," a ministry official told ANI on this day, "He was found doing business on a tourist visa and has been barred for one year; his visa has been cancelled."
Karl Rock said that his wife Manisha Malik hails from Haryana and that by blacklisting him, the government is separating him from his wife and family. In a tweet addressed to New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern, Rock highlighted his "struggle" and a petition that he launched in this regard. He also tagged a bunch of senior diplomats, journalists, as well as Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal's official handles on the tweet.
In a video posted from his YouTube channel, the vlogger also claimed that he had not seen his wife in "269 days".
Rock, who was once praised by Kejriwal for donating plasma on recovering from the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), started an online petition alleging that the Indian government stopped him from returning to India by unfairly adding his name to the ministry of home affairs' blacklist.
"I left India to go travel Dubai and Pakistan in October 2020 and upon leaving they cancelled my visa at the airport. They wouldn't tell me why. 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," Rock wrote in his petition.
"Before someone is added to the blacklist they're meant to be given the reason, and time to reply," he said, adding, "I wasn't".