February 2020 News

British MP Heading Group On Kashmir Denied Entry Into India, Govt Says E-visa Cancelled

17 February 2020

New Delhi: A British MP heading a parliamentary group on Kashmir claimed on Monday that she was denied entry despite a valid visa after she landed at the airport here, a charge rebutted the government which said she was informed about her e-visa being cancelled. Debbie Abrahams, a Labour Party MP who chairs the All Party Parliamentary Group for Kashmir and has been critical of India's Kashmir policy, said in a statement on Twitter that she arrived here on Monday morning and was informed that her e-visa, which was valid till October 2020, had been cancelled. A Home Ministry spokesperson said the British parliamentarian had been duly informed that her visa was cancelled and she arrived Delhi despite knowing this. When contacted, Abrahams told PTI she 'had not received any emails before February 13'. After that, she had been travelling and was away from office. 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.' The British MP said she was waiting for her deportation. '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.'