British MP Debbie Abrahams, a vocal critic of India’s policies on Jammu and Kashmir, was deported “with a lot of respect”, the foreign ministry said today, adding she did not have a valid visa when she landed in Delhi last week.
“She (Debbie Abrahams) didn’t have a valid visa, so we sent her back ‘badi izzat se‘ (with due respect) from the Delhi airport,” foreign ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar told reporters during his briefing this afternoon.
Mr Kumar added that there is a “sustained campaign” from Ms Abrahams side against India. “We believe that her statements and ideology are anti-India,” he said.
Ms Abrahams, who also heads the British parliamentary group for Kashmir, had said in a statement that she was “treated like a criminal” after she was stopped at the Delhi airport and denied entry.
Reacting on Twitter, Ms Abrahams had written: “Very disappointing that a friend can’t respectfully criticise another friend. Isn’t this the sign of a healthy democracy?” She also posted a shot of her visa in a bid to prove that it was valid till October this year.
Government sources had later said Ms Abrahams’ e-business visa was revoked as she was involved in anti-India activities.
“In any case, previously issued e-Business visa meant for business meetings can’t be used for visiting family and friends, as claimed by her,” the sources had said.
The British MP had alleged that her visa was denied as she has been critical of the Indian government on Kashmir.
“Why did the Indian government revoke my visa AFTER it was granted? Why didn’t they let me get a ‘visa on arrival’? Is it because I have been critical of the Indian Government on #Kashmir human rights issues?” she had tweeted.
Ms Abrahams has been very vocal and emphatic in her criticism of the Article 370 move and its aftermath, with unprecedented security and communications restrictions.