A British lawmaker Debbie Abrahams, who was critical of the Indian government's move to revoke the special status accorded to Jammu and Kashmir, on Monday said she was denied entry into India despite a valid visa.
The Labour Party MP said she was deported back to Dubai, from where she had flown to New Delhi, LiveMint reported.
However, Abraham's claim of having a valid visa was rebutted by the Union home ministry, which said she had been 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Group for Kashmir, said she was travelling on a valid e-visa to India to visit family and friends, but that her visa was revoked without any explanation.
A home ministry spokesperson said the British lawmaker had been duly informed that her visa had been cancelled, and that she arrived in New Delhi despite being aware of this.
But, Abrahams said, "had not received any email before February 13". Her office in the UK confirmed she was put on a plane to Dubai, from where she had flown into Delhi on Monday.
Her e-visa was reportedly issued last October, and was valid until October 2020.
Meanwhile, backing government's move, Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi twitted on Tuesday that the deportation of the British MP was necessary as she is a Pakistan proxy.
"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," Singhvi said on Twitter.
However, opposing the government's move to stop Abraham at the airport, another Congress leader Shashi Tharoor twitted yesterday "If things are fine in #Kashmir, shouldn't the Govt encourage critics to witness the situation themselves to put their fears to rest? Instead of conducting tours for pliant MEPs &polite Ambassadors alone, surely the head of a ParliamentaryGroup on the subject is worth cultivating?"
Recounting her experience at Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport, Abrahams said she had presented herself at the immigration desk along with her documents and e-visa but "...the official looked at his screen and started shaking his head". "Then he told me my visa was rejected, took my passport and disappeared for 10 minutes."
She posted several tweets after she was refused entry to India
A British High Commission spokesperson said, "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."