Actor Karanvir Bohra was detained at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi for not carrying proper identification documents to travel to Nepal. Karanvir himself informed the same by posting a tweet on Twitter today. He said that he was ‘deported’ at Delhi airport on his away to Nepal as he was only carrying his Aadhaar card. He also blamed Air India for this, as the airlines had allowed him to travel to Delhi from Mumbai on Aadhaar card as ID proof.
Deported at Delhi airport on my way to #nepal.trvlng wid #adhaarcar not allowed
Nepal gov alows (PP,voters ID & Adhaar by road,by air only PP & VI)Then,Y did @airindiain in Mumbai let me fly with my Adhaar?Y didn’t they stop me there? #indianembassy @DrSJaishankar @IndiaInNepal
— Karanvir Bohra ???????? (@KVBohra) January 30, 2020
Karanvir Bohra tagged the external affairs ministry in his tweet, apart from Air India and the Indian Embassy in Nepal. His tweet caused outrage among some people. MTV host Raghu Ram called it bizarre that Aadhar card is not allowed. He also asked, “how come there is NO info about these confusing travel doc requirements?”
— Raghu Ram (@tweetfromRaghu) January 30, 2020
Others said that it is ridiculous and highly irresponsible.
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Although Karanvir Bohra had to face an unpleasant experience, the fact is that the documents required to travel to Nepal are well known and he was not carrying any of them. Although Nepal allows Indians to visit the country without passport and visa, identification documents are mandatory for Indians.
While Bohra accused Air India of not knowing the rules, actually the Air India has a dedicated page for Indians travelling to Nepal. According to the page, apart from passport, other identification documents like government identity card, voter ID card and some other documents are valid for travelling to Nepal. Most importantly, the list not only does not include Aadhaar, it specifically mentions under it as note that Aadhaar Card (UID) is not acceptable travel document for travel to Nepal and Bhutan, in bold letters. The website of the bureau of immigration also mentions the same, saying that Aadhaar card is not acceptable.
Moreover, the website of the Indian Embassy in Nepal says that only two documents are valid for Indian nationals travelling to Nepal by air, which are valid Indian passport or voter ID. It says that other documents like Aadhaar, Pan Card, Driving License, Indian Embassy Registration are not accepted.
Therefore, the list of documents needed to travel to Nepal is widely available on the public domain, and it is the responsibility of travellers to check the document requirements before travelling to a foreign country, even if there are exemptions for Indians. Moreover, according to an India Today report, Karanvir had a connecting flight from Delhi to Kathmandu, therefore there was no reason for the Mumbai-Delhi Air India flight to not allow him to fly with Aadhaar as it was a domestic flight.
It is important to note that Nepal has exempted the passport requirement for Indian citizens, therefore those travelling to Nepal without passport must have adequate proof that they are Indian citizens. Aadhaar is not a proof of citizenship, it is only a proof of residential proof. Foreign nationals living in India can legally obtain Aadhaar card, and that is the reason why it is Aadhaar card is not accepted as an identification document for travelling to Nepal. The same reason applies to why PAN card is not acceptable, as that also does not prove Indian citizenship.