British MP Debbie Abrahams' Activities "Against National Interest": Government Sources

On Monday, Debbie Abrahams arrived in Delhi around 8.50 am on a flight from Dubai, but was told by immigration authorities that her visa was no longer valid.

Debbie Abrahams was stopped at Delhi airport as she landed on Monday morning and later deported to Dubai

Highlights

  • British MP Debbie Abrahams arrived in Delhi on Monday morning
  • She was told by immigration authorities that her visa was no longer valid
  • Ms Abrahams is a vocal critic of India's policies on Jammu and Kashmir
New Delhi:

A day after British MP Debbie Abrahams, a vocal critic of India's policies on Jammu and Kashmir, was deported from Delhi airport, government officials said her e-Business visa was cancelled before she travelled to India on account of "activities which went against India's national interests." They also said she had been informed about the rejection of her e-business visa the same day, on February 14.

On Monday, Debbie Abrahams arrived in Delhi around 8.50 am on a flight from Dubai, but was told by immigration authorities that her visa was no longer valid.

"In any case, previously issued e-Business visa meant for business meetings can't be used for visiting family and friends, as claimed by her," the sources added on the British lawmaker who has been deeply critical of the government's decisions on Jammu and Kashmir and the end of special status under Article 370.

The rules required a new visa, said officials. The grant, rejection and revocation of visa is the sovereign right of any country, they stated.

Ms Abrahams reacted on Twitter: "Very disappointing that a friend can't respecfully criticise another friend. Isn't this the sign of a healthy democracy?" She also posted a shot of her visa in a bid to prove that it was valid till October this year.

Ms Abrahams was issued an e-business visa on October 7, 2019, which was valid till October 5, 2020, to attend business meetings.

"Ms Abrahams was not in the possession of a valid visa at the time of her travel to India and she was accordingly requested to return," sources said, adding that there is no provision of "visa on arrival" for UK nationals at the airport.

"I presented myself at the immigration desk with my documents including my e-visa, had my photograph taken and then 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'," said the British MP in a statement.

"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 politician said she rang a relative she was to stay with, and he called the British High Commission.

"I'm prepared to let the fact that I've been treated like a criminal go, and I hope they will let me visit my family and friends," Ms Abrahams had said.

The MP, who heads a UK parliamentary group on Kashmir, has been very vocal and emphatic in her criticism of the Article 370 move and its aftermath, with unprecedented security and communications restrictions.

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