British MP, critic of India's Kashmir policy, deported after being denied entry into India

British MP, critic of India's Kashmir policy, deported after being denied entry into India

LONDON: A British MP, critical of India's move to withdraw Jammu and Kashmir's special status, on Monday said she was denied entry despite a legitimate visa after she landed at Delhi airport and deported to Dubai from where she had flown into the New Delhi .

Labour Party MP Debbie Abrahams claim that she had a legitimate visa was rebutted by India's 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Group for Kashmir, said she was travelling on a legitimate e-visa to India to go to family and friends but her visa was revoked without explanation.

A Home Ministry spokesperson in New Delhi said British parliamentarian had been duly informed that her visa was cancelled and she or he arrived in 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 faraway from office.

Her office within the UK confirmed she was placed on a plane to Dubai, which is where she flew into Delhi from earlier on Monday.

"We are in touch with the Indian authorities to know why Deborah Abrahams MP was denied entry to India. We provided consular assistance to her whilst she was in New Delhi Airport," said a British High Commission spokesperson in New Delhi .

Abrahams' e-visa was reportedly issued last October, and was valid until October 2020.

Recounting her experience at Delhi's Gandhi International Airport, she said during a statement on Twitter that she arrived here on 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 side her documents and e-visa.

"...the official checked out his screen and began 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 to not speak to me like that and was then taken to a cordoned-off area marked as a Deportee Cell. He then ordered me to take a seat down and that i refused. I didn't know what they could do or where else they'll take me, so I wanted people to ascertain me," British MP said.

The immigration officer disappeared again, she said, adding that she phoned her sister-in-law's cousin who she was getting to be staying with.

"Kai came touch with British High Commission and he tried to seek out out what was happening ," 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 one that appeared to be responsible said he didn't know and was really sorry about what had happened."

Reacting to Abrahams' deportation, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor asked why the govt was frightened of critics if it claimed things in Kashmir was normal.

"Reacting to British MP Who Criticised Govt on J&K Stopped At Airport: conduct really undeserving a democracy & bound to give us a far worse press than if she had been admitted," he said on Twitter.

Abrahams was among a gaggle 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 united kingdom Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab at the time.