British MP who leads Kashmir group denied entry to India


New Delhi

A Labour Party Member of Parliament Debbie Abrahams, who chairs a parliamentary group focused on the disputed Kashmir region, was unable to clear customs as the Indian visa she presented was rejected, after she landed at New Delhi’s
Indira Gandhi International Airport on Monday.
According to an official statement issued by Abrahams, she was told that her e-visa, that had been issued last October and was valid until October 2020, had been rejected.
“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,” she said.
“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.”
She went on to explain that when the official disappeared, she contacted her sister-in-law’s cousin, who contacted the British High Commission to try to find out what was going on.
“After lots of different immigration officials came to me, I tried to establish why the visa had been revoked and if I could get a visa on arrival but no one seemed to know,” she said.
“Even the person who seemed to be in charge said he didn’t know and was really sorry about what had happened,” she stated, adding that now she is 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 said. — AP