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British MP who heads panel on Kashmir denied entry in India

New Delhi: The government has said that British parliamentarian who is claiming that she was denied entry into India, had her e-visa cancelled. Labour MP Debbie Abrahams claimed on Twitter that she was informed about her visa cancellation when she reached Delhi.

“Ms Debbie Abraham was not in possession of a valid visa to visit India. Entry into the country was therefore denied,” home ministry sources said on Monday. “Her e-visa was cancelled and she was informed regarding the decision in advance. She didn’t have the visa when she landed at IGI airport,” the sources further said.

Abrahams told news agency PTI that she “had not received any emails before February 13”. After that, she had been travelling and was away from the office.

An official further told PTI that she was deported to Dubai on Monday.

News agency Associated Press (AP) reported that Abrahams and her aide Harpreet Upal arrived at the airport on an Emirates flight from Dubai at 9 am. She was on a two-day personal trip to India, and was going to Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), AP further reported.

Abrahams chairs a parliamentary group focused on Kashmir.

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.

The immigration officer disappeared again, she said, adding that she phoned her sister-in-law’s cousin who she was going to be staying with. “Kai got in touch with the British High Commission and he tried to find out what was going on,” she wrote on Twitter. She said later several immigration officials came to her but none of them knew why her e-visa was cancelled. “Even the person who seemed to be in charge said he didn’t know and was really sorry about what had happened.”

Abrahams, 59, has been a member of Parliament since 2011, and critical of India’s move to withdraw Jammu and Kashmir’s special status.

Abrahams has been critical of the Indian government over its revocation of special status of Jammu & Kashmir on August 5, last year.

“The reason I got into politics is advance social justice and human rights for all. I will continue to challenge my own government and others on these issues,” she tweeted.

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