Oldham MP denied entry to India

OLDHAM MP Debbie Abrahams has been denied entry to India and ‘deported’ from Delhi airport.

Mrs Abrahams, MP for Oldham East and Saddleworth and also chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Kashmir, was travelling to the country on a personal visit.

However, she said she was denied entry at the Indira Gandhi Airport as her e-visa was rejected, despite being valid until October 2020.

Mrs Abrahams, who has been critical of India’s government’s decision to revoke Kashmir’s special status, was deported to Dubai.

In a statement, she explained: “Along with everyone else, I presented myself at the immigration desk with my documents including my e-visa, had my photograph taken and then the official looked at his screen and started shaking his head.

“He told me my visa was rejected, took my passport, and disappeared for about 10 minutes.

“When he came back he was very rude and aggressive shouting at me to ‘come with me’.

“I told him not to speak to me like that and was then taken to a cordoned off area marked as a Deportee Cell.

“He then ordered me to sit down and I refused. I didn’t know what they might do or where else they may take me, so I wanted people to see me.

“I rang my sister-in-law’s cousin, Kai, who I was meant to be staying with. Kai got in touch with the British High Commission and he tried to find out what was going on.

“After lots of different immigration officials came to me, I tried to establish why the visa had been revoked and if I could get a ‘visa on arrival’ but no-one seemed to know.

“Even the person who seemed to be in charge said he didn’t know and was really sorry about what had happened.”

Immigration officials have not explained the reason for their decision.

Mrs Abrahams stayed in Dubai overnight and then flew to Islamabad to lead the APPG on Kashmir on a short fact-finding visit to the region.

Last August, Mrs Abrahams wrote to the UK foreign secretary to say the APPG was “gravely concerned” about the decision to strip the disputed region of its special status.

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