The High Commission of India on Tuesday issued a statement over the government's decision to deport Labour party UK MP Debbie Abrahams from Delhi. Taking to Twitter, the HCI said Abrahams did not hold a valid visa and hence she was requested to return. They further mentioned that no provisions have been made for 'Visa on Arrival' for the UK nationals in India.
Abrahams was denied entry into India on Monday.
Mission has confirmed from the Indian immigration authorities that Ms Debbie Abrahams did not hold a valid visa. Further, there is no provision for visa on arrival for UK nationals. She was accordingly requested to return.— India in the UK (@HCI_London) February 18, 2020
After being denied entry into India, Abrahams issued a statement mentioning that she presented herself at the immigration desk with requisite documents including the e-visa. She claimed that an immigration official rudely directed her to sit in an area marked as a Deportee cell. Thereafter, she got in touch with her Indian host who contacted the British High Commission.
According to her, the officials were not willing to disclose the reason for her visa being revoked. Moreover, her request to get a ‘visa on arrival’ was also rebuffed. Later, she opined that the officials had treated her as a ‘criminal’.
In an exclusive interview with Republic TV, Debbie Abrahams admitted that she was not aware of her visa being cancelled. She also stated that if she had known earlier she would have made alternative arrangements.
She had said, "No, I wasn't aware that my visa was cancelled. I would have made alternative arrangements because I obviously have the option of flying on a visa on arrival. I was not aware, I am still not aware. I have access to my parliamentary emails and I have no contact in that."
Representing the constituency of Oldham East and Saddleworth since January 2011, Abrahams is the Chair of the British Parliament’s All-Party Parliamentary Kashmir Group. As per the website, its purpose is to support the right of Kashmiri people to self-determination and to highlight the abuses of human rights in Kashmir. After the abrogation of Article 370, she wrote to UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab asking whether UK would raise the matter at the UN Security Council meeting in September 2019.
On February 4, 2020, she participated in the Kashmir Solidarity Day seminar in London. The event also witnessed the participation of Mohammad Nafees Zakaria, the Pakistan High Commissioner to the UK and Sardar Masood Khan, the ‘President’ of PoK. The seminar was organised by the Women Council of Jammu Kashmir Self-Determination Movement International.