New Delhi: Debbie Abrahams who is a member of the British Parliament and the Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Kashmir is being held at the airport here. Government sources claimed Monday that she does not have a valid visa and steps were on to ‘deport’ her back to the UK.
On the other hand, Debbie who has at times criticised the Indian government’s decisions on Kashmir has claimed that she had been denied entry into India and was ‘waiting to be deported’. She said that upon arrival at the Delhi airport she was informed that that her e-visa had been rejected. She also said in a statement that she was being ‘treated like a criminal’ and taken to the deportee cell.
Debbie said that when she landed around 8.50am Monday morning, she was told by Delhi airport officials that the e-visa issued last October and 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. I also was photographed. Then things changed. The official told me after looking at the screen my visa was rejected. He took my passport and disappeared for about 10 minutes. When he came back he was rude and aggressive. He shouted ‘come with me’,” the British MP informed.
“I told him not to speak to me like that and was then taken to a cordoned off area marked as a ‘Deportee Cell’. The official 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,” Debbie said in the same statement.
The MP said that she rang up a relative she was supposed to stay with in Delhi. He called up the British High Commission to try and find out what was going on. She also said she asked about a visa on arrival, but got no answers.
“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,” Debbie said.
It should be stated here that on her Twitter page, Debbie had posted a letter she apparently wrote August 5 last year, the day the government ended special status to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370. Her timeline also has several posts critical of the restrictions imposed in Jammu and Kashmir.