London: In a bizarre case involving Britain`s immigration laws, a 70-year-old academic born in British India and hailed as the symbol of national resilience after being a victim of the July 7, 2005 London attacks, is reported to be facing deportation.
John Tulloch, a prominent academic born in India in 1942, belongs to a family that served in colonial India for generations.
His father was a major in Gurkha Rifles while his great-grandfather was in the Indian Civil Service.
The Sunday Telegraph today reported that since he was born in colonial India, he was conferred a lesser form of British nationality known as a `British subject without citizenship`.
After studies in Cambridge, Sussex and a career in British academia, he took a job in Australia and later acquired Australian citizenship.
Due to his being a `British subject without citizenship`, his acquisition of Australian citizenship automatically cancelled both his British nationality and his right to live in Britain.
The Telegraph paper reported that when he applied to renew his British passport, it was confiscated.
The report said, "Prof Tulloch, 70, who traces his ancestry here back to the 14th century, was born to British parents in a British colony. He has a British wife, children and brother. He was raised and educated in Britain from the age of three, has substantial assets and property here and has lived or worked in the UK for most of his life, holding a series of posts at British universities. He even held a British passport".
It added, "But now, his passport has been confiscated and he faces expulsion from Britain in the latest bizarre twist in this country`s "Kafkaesque" immigration laws".
Tulloch told the paper, "I am totally gobsmacked by this. I`ve got a huge attachment to Britain. My family has served Britain for three generations. I`ve been banging my head against a wall trying to get this sorted out, but I`ve never before encountered so much frustration. It`s like Kafka".
After the London blasts, in which he was seriously injured, he was hailed as an example of British resilience.
He said, "There I was, hailed as an example of British courage, British pluck and the British spirit, an iconic image of British resistance. I get blown up in the media as a British patriot, then I get kicked out".
Tulloch said he was never told about the status of being a `British subject without citizenship`, and was once issued with a British passport in the normal way.
"Neither I nor my parents ever received information from the Government that this was somehow an inferior passport. In particular, the passport itself explicitly said that you could take out dual nationality without risking your British nationality," he said.
Tulloch, who is a former head of the Cardiff School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies, among other academic positions, has several other roots in Britain.
The report said, "But as he moves into semi-retirement, he has now been told that he can no longer permanently remain here and can only visit for brief periods as a tourist. The Home Office has also told him that he cannot apply for naturalisation".
Tulloch said, "It is getting to crisis point now. When I came back from a trip to Vienna, two or three months ago, I got a really hard time at Heathrow. I am worried that if I leave again, I might not be let back in".
A UK Border Agency spokesman said, "It is the responsibility of an individual to check that they will not lose a previously acquired nationality or citizenship on acquiring an additional one".
However, the report said that according to Home Office sources, it was still open to Tulloch to apply for leave to remain in the country if he wished.