‘India Denies Entry to MP Critical of Govt’: UK Media on Abrahams

Here’s how British media outlets reported Debbie Abrahams’ ‘deportation’:

3 min read
UK MP Debbie Abrahams.

British Labour MP Debbie Abrahams was denied entry into India at New Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport on Monday, 17 February. The Indian High Commission in the United Kingdom stated that the British lawmaker did not hold a valid visa.

According to government sources, she was informed about her e-visa on 14 February “with due process.”

Abrahams chairs a parliamentary group focused on Jammu and Kashmir and is a vocal critic of India’s decision to revoke the special status of the erstwhile state under Article 370 last year. She insists she held a valid visa.

Here’s how British media outlets reported her ‘deportation’:

BBC: India Denies Entry to UK Labour MP Critical of Government

British public service broadcaster BBC in its report said that India has denied entry to Debbie Abrahams “who was critical of the government's controversial decision to revoke Kashmir's special status last year.”

The report also said that Indian Immigration officials did not explain the reason for their decision.

BBC added that in August 2019, Abrahams wrote to the UK foreign secretary, saying the parliamentary group was "gravely concerned" about the decision to strip the disputed region of its special status, adding that it "betrayed the trust of the people of Jammu and Kashmir".

The Guardian: UK MP and Kashmiri Rights Campaigner Is 'Deported' From India

Calling Debbie Abrahams a Kashmiri rights campaigner, The Guardian in its report said that the UK MP for Oldham East and Saddleworth, “who is chair of the all-party parliamentary group for Kashmir, was denied entry into India and flown to Dubai.”

“Officials at Delhi airport told her that her e-visa, which had been issued last October and was valid until October 2020, had been rejected. The trip to India during parliamentary recess was to visit family and friends.”
The Guardian

The publication also reported that Abrahams arrived in Delhi with her aide Harpreet Uppal on an Emirates flight from Dubai at 9am on Monday.

Mirror: Abrahams Refused Entry to India and Marched Onto Flight 'Like a Criminal'

According to Mirror, Labour MP Debbie Abrahams “sparked a diplomatic incident” on Tuesday after being refused entry to India.

“Debbie Abrahams said she “felt like a criminal” after she was put in a “deportee cell” and “physically marched” onto a return flight when authorities said she did not have a valid visa.”

The publication also reported that a UK Foreign Office minister raised the case formally with India's High Commissioner on Tuesday, before India's High Commission in London claimed Abrahams did not have a visa to visit India and her refusal was nothing to do with her work on the APPG.

Abrahams said she wanted to pay a private visit to her sister-in-law's cousin and aunt, who recently lost a family member, in Delhi before then travelling with Ms Uppal to Pakistan for an official visit with the APPG, reported Mirror.

Sky News: Abrahams, Who Holds Kashmir Role, Barred Entry Into India

“A Labour MP has been denied entry to India after arriving at a New Delhi airport,” said a Sky News report.

“Debbie Abrahams revealed she was told “no, no, no” by immigration officials on arrival in the country on Monday morning.”
Sky News

The lawmaker told Sky News she had “no idea” why she was blocked from entering India.

The publication also reported that Abrahams landed in New Delhi around 8:50 am and subsequently presented the visa she had been issued last October, which she was told would be valid for 12 months.

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