British Lawmaker was refused to enter India by the country’s officials on Monday after she landed at New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport. Debbie Abrahams, a Labour Party Member of Parliament, could not clear customs after her valid Indian visa had been rejected. Ms Abrahms and Harpreet Upal arrived at the airport on an Emirates flight from Dubai at 9 am. Upal said the immigration official did not mention any specific reason for denying and revoking her visa.
Abrahams has been serving as a member of Parliament since 2011. She chaired a parliamentary group focused on Kashmir and criticized the Indian government’s decisions on Kashmir. In a statement, she said that she was “treated like a criminal” and taken to the deportee cell. However, the government has denied all the charges and said her visa was not valid. But, Ms Abraharms has claimed her e-visa was issued last October and valid until October 2020.
“Along with everyone else, 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.”
“Even the person who seemed to be in charge said he didn’t know and was really sorry about what had happened. So now I am just waiting to be deported … unless the Indian Government has a change of heart. 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,” she added.
Last August, the Indian government scrapped the article 370 and thereby revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir. The decision separated the state into two Union Territories – Jammu and Kashmir. The British MP wrote to the Indian envoy in the UK expressing grave concerns on the Article 370 move. Ms Abrahams’ timeline has several posts critical of the Kashmir decision.