British MP Debbie Abrahams has been sharply critical of Modi government decision to abrogate Article 370. (Photo Credit: Debbie Abrahams/Twitter)
Day after British lawmaker Debbie Abrahams claimed that she was entry into India despite having a valid visa, the government sources on Tuesday said that Abrahams ‘was issued an e-Business Visa on 7th October 2019, valid till October 5, 2020 to attend business meetings Her e-Business Visa was revoked on February 14, 2020 on account of her indulging in activities which went against India's national interest.” Abrahams who has been sharply critical of Modi government decision to abrogate Article 370 also tweeted copy of the e-Visa that was issued to her by the Indian authorities.
However, the government sources said that, “Authorisation is the sovereign right of any country. Previously issued "e-Business Visa meant for business meetings, can't be used for visiting “family and friends”, as claimed by her".” The source further added, "This is not permitted as per the rules and a separate visa request has to be made."
To mark #KashmirSolidarityDay, I spoke out against the human rights violations that innocent Kashmiris are enduring.— Debbie Abrahams (@Debbie_abrahams) February 5, 2020
We must do everything we can to work with #India & #Pakistan to bring peace to the region pic.twitter.com/rjS9ecfLhn
Amid the tension, a senior Congress leader has backed the Modi government over the visa issue. "The deportation of Debbie Abrahams by India was indeed necessary, as she is not just an MP, but a Pak proxy known for her clasp with Pak govt and ISI. Every attempt that tries to attack India's sovereignty must be thwarted," Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi said in tweet on Tuesday. However, his party colleague Shashi Tharoor had backed the British MP tweeting, “I find it ironic that some of the same people who applauded me for going to Britain as an Indian MP and telling them off about their colonial misbehaviour, are attacking me for wanting India to grant a British MP the same privilege! If we can dish it out, we should be able to take it.”
Abrahams, a Labour Party MP, said she had a valid visa was rebutted by India's Home Ministry which said she was informed about her e-visa being cancelled. Abrahams, who chairs the All Party Parliamentary Group for Kashmir, said she was travelling on a valid e-visa to India to visit family and friends but her visa was revoked without explanation.
A Home Ministry spokesperson in New Delhi said the British parliamentarian had been duly informed that her visa was cancelled. When contacted, Abrahams said she "had not received any emails before February 13". After that, she had been travelling and was away from office. Her office in the UK confirmed she was put on a plane to Dubai, which is where she flew into Delhi from earlier on Monday.
“We are in contact with the Indian authorities to understand why Deborah Abrahams MP was denied entry to India. We provided consular assistance to her whilst she was in New Delhi Airport,” said a British High Commission spokesperson in New Delhi.