Sources from the Ministry of Home Affairs on Tuesday, February 18 confirmed that they had followed the proposed process while handling the case of British MP Debbie Abrahams’ deportation. MHA had also double-checked everything with the customs department which is responsible for the border security in India, add sources. The MHA sources also said that the rules are the same for every individual carrying a foreign passport and Abrahams’ diplomatic passport was also thoroughly checked.
The sources further said that if the individuals don't fulfil the criteria to enter India, the Customs department follows its rulebook to exercise necessary actions, and this is what was done in the UK MP's case. As per sources, the customs first informed the MHA about the visit of the British lawmaker, who then approached the Ministry of External Affairs and got in touch with the British High Commission.
After being denied entry into India on Monday, February 17, in an exclusive interview with Republic TV, Labour party UK MP Debbie Abrahams admitted that she was not aware of her visa being cancelled. She also said that if she had known earlier, she would have made alternative arrangements. Abrahams had also issued a formal statement claiming having suffered an ordeal just as she was being deported to Dubai.
Speaking to Republic TV, Abrahams 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."
When asked if the Government of India has informed her about her visa, she said, "I had no idea. I had absolutely no idea. I was treated badly by the officials; the officer shouted at me. I have never seen a deportation cell - they took me to a deportee cell."
When asked about her visit to Pakistan occupied Kashmir, she said, "Yes, I am going to visit Pakistan. I would like to visit Pakistan occupied Kashmir and look at the human rights issue. I wanted to meet my family in Karachi."
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.