New Delhi/London: A British MP, critical of India’s move to withdraw Jammu and Kashmir’s special status, said Monday she was denied entry despite a valid visa after she landed at Delhi airport and deported to Dubai from where she had flown into the Indian capital.
Labour Party MP Debbie Abraham’s charge of a valid visa was rebutted by the Home Ministry which said she was informed about her e-visa being cancelled.
Abrahams, who chairs the All Party Parliamentary Group for Kashmir, said she was travelling on a valid e-visa to India to visit family and friends but her visa was revoked without explanation.
A Home Ministry spokesperson in New Delhi said the British parliamentarian had been duly informed that her visa was cancelled and she arrived in Delhi despite having knowledge about the development.
When contacted, Abrahams told this agency she ‘had not received any emails before February 13’. After that, she had been travelling and was away from office. Her office in the UK confirmed she was put on a plane to Dubai, which is where she flew into Delhi from earlier Monday. Her e-visa was reportedly issued last October, and was valid until October 2020.
Recounting her experience at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport, the British MP in a statement on Twitter said that she arrived here Monday morning and was informed that her e-visa been cancelled.
In her statement, Abrahams said she had presented herself at the immigration desk along with her documents and e-visa.
“…the official looked at his screen and started shaking his head. Then he told me my visa was rejected took my passport and disappeared for about 10 minutes. When he came back he was very rude and aggressive shouting at me to ‘come with me’. I told him not to speak to me like that and was then taken to a cordoned off area marked as a ‘Deportee Cell’. He then ordered me to sit down and I refused. I didn’t know what they might do or where else they may take me, so I wanted people to see me,” the British MP said.
Abrahams was among a group of MPs who issued formal letters following the revocation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status under Article 370 in August last year.
““We are gravely concerned at the announcement by Indian Home Minister, Amit Shah, that Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, which grants special status to Jammu and Kashmir, has been removed by Presidential Order,” the Opposition MP had noted in her letter to the UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab at the time.