A bbc.com report on the events leading to the Labour MP being denied entry after landing in New Delhi leaves out details on facts

United Kingdom (UK) Member of Parliament (MP) Debbie Abrahams has claimed that she was denied entry into India on her arrival at New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport on February 17.

A report published by bbc.com highlights the charges made by the Labour MP against the Indian authorities. We look at the key points mentioned in the report and find that they are misleading and based on incorrect or incomplete information.

Charge 1
India has denied entry to a UK Labour MP who was critical of the government's controversial decision to revoke Kashmir's special status last year.

The decision to deny entry into India to the UK MP has nothing to do with her views on the Indian government’s decision to revoke Jammu and Kashmir’s special status on August 5, 2019. The step was taken since her travel documents were not in order.

The Indian High Commission in London has confirmed from the immigration authorities in New Delhi that Abrahams did not hold a valid visa, a very sound reason for denial of entry into India upon her arrival in New Delhi.

"After lots of different immigration officials came to me, I tried to establish why the visa had been revoked and if I could get a 'visa on arrival' but no-one seemed to know," she said.

This charge is based on incomplete information and ends up painting a misleading picture. The Indian High Commission in London has said that there is no provision for a visa on arrival for UK nationals in India. If there is no such provision for UK nationals in the first place, the question of the MP being denied a visa on arrival does not arise at all.

Charge 3:
Immigration officials did not explain the reason for their decision (to cancel her e-visa).

India had informed her about e-visa cancellation on February 14 itself. The Indian government says that the grant, rejection or revocation of a visa or electronic travel authorisation is the sovereign right of the country.

Charge 4:
"An official took my passport and disappeared for about 10 minutes. When he came back, he was very rude and shouted at me to come with him," she said. She was reportedly taken to a cordoned off area marked as a deportee cell.

Immigration authorities have denied treating the UK Labour MP badly. They also denied that they shouted at her or used rude language as claimed in the report. All courtesies that were due to her as a lawmaker were provided.

IVD Bureau