U.K. Labour MP’s visa revoked for her ‘anti-India’ activities: govt official

Debbie Abrahams has claimed she was ‘treated like a criminal’ at New Delhi airport before being sent back.

February 18, 2020 02:41 pm | Updated November 28, 2021 11:27 am IST - New Delhi

The visa of United Kingdom parliamentarian Debbie Abrahams was revoked as she was “indulging in activities that went against India’s national interest”, a government official said on Tuesday.

The Labour MP and leader of the U.K. Parliament’s All Party Parliamentary Group for Kashmir was deported to Dubai on Monday as she was found to not be in possession of a valid visa at the time of her travel to India and she was accordingly requested to return, the official said.

Ms. Abrahams has claimed she was “treated like a criminal” at the New Delhi airport before being sent back.

The revocation comes in wake of the MP attending the “Kashmir Solidarity Day” function organised by the Pakistan High Commission in London on February 5.

 

“I spoke out against the human rights violations that innocent Kashmiris are enduring. We must do everything we can to work with India & Pakistan to bring peace to the region,” a post on her Facebook page on February 5 said.

She also shared a video clip where she asked the U.K Foreign Secretary to “support a fact finding delegation from the Parliamentary All Party Group for Kashmir to the region following a report that 13,000 teenage boys in Jammu and Kashmir have been detained since the revocation of Article 370 by the Indian government”.

On Tuesday, she shared a copy of her e-business visa on Twitter. The visa, granted on October 7, 2019, was valid for a year to attend “business meetings”.

Revoked, intimated

However, the government official told The Hindu that Ms. Abrahams’ e-Business Visa was revoked on February 14, 2020, on account of her indulging in activities that went against India’s national interest, and this was intimated to her on the same day.

The official added that there is no provision of “visa on arrival” for U.K. nationals at the airport, dismissing Ms. Abrahams’ contention she should have been granted a “visa on arrival”.

The official said that, as per the rules, a previously issued e-Business visa meant for business meetings cannot be used for visiting “family and friends”, as stated by the British MP.

The Indian High Commission in London confirmed that Ms. Abrahams did not hold a valid visa.

“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,” the Indian High Commission said in a statement on Twitter.

Ms. Abrahams has convened meetings on the human rights situation in Jammu and Kashmir as well as on the India-Pakistan conflict.

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