By SM.17 Feb, 2020
NEW DELHI: A British MP critical of the government"s decisions on Kashmir under Article 370 was stopped at the Delhi airport on Monday and deported to Dubai. Debbie Abrahams was not allowed entry into India and was told upon her arrival at the Delhi airport that her e-visa had been rejected. The chairperson of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Kashmir in Britain, Abrahams had said in a statement that she was "treated like a criminal".
Government sources said Debbie Abrahams did not have a valid visa to visit India. The British High Commission has said they are in touch with Indian authorities to understand why the MP was denied entry to India.
Abrahams said when she landed around 8.50 this 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, 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."
The politician said she rang a relative she was to stay with, and he called 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," Abrahams said.
Reacting to Twitter buzz, some of it uncharitable on account of her criticism of India on the Article 370 move, the MP sad she was planning to visit her Indian family in Delhi. "I became a politician to promote social justice & human rights FOR ALL. I will continue to challenge my own Government & others while injustice & abuse is unchecked," she tweeted.
On her Twitter page, Abrahams has posted a letter she apparently wrote on August 5 last year, the day the government ended special status to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 and enforced severe restrictions to avoid any violent protests.
The MP said as the chair of a group on Kashmir, she had written to the Indian envoy in the UK expressing grave concerns on the Article 370 move.
Abrahams" timeline has several posts critical of the Kashmir decision."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 Abrahams said.