British lawmaker Debbie Abrahams' e-Business visa was revoked as she was involved in anti-India activities, and the cancellation was conveyed to her on February 14, government sources said on Tuesday.
Asserting that the grant, rejection or revocation of a visa or electronic travel authorisation is the sovereign right of a country, the sources said Abrahams was issued an e-Business visa on October 7 last year which was valid till October 5, 2020 for attending business meetings.
"Her e-Business visa was revoked on February 14, 2020 on account of her indulging in activities which went against India's national interest. The rejection of the e-Business visa was intimated to her on February 14," a source said.
Abrahams was not in the possession of a valid visa at the time of her arrival at the IGI airport in New Delhi on Monday and she was asked to return, the sources said.
There is no provision of 'visa on arrival' for UK nationals at the airport, sources said, dismissing Abrahams' contention she should have been granted a 'visa on arrival'.
Sources said, as per the rules, previously issued e-Business visa meant for business meetings, can't be used for visiting "family and friends", as stated by the British MP.
"This is not permitted as per the rules and a separate visa request has to be made," a source said.
Abrahams, who chairs a British parliamentary group on Kashmir, was denied entry into India upon her arrival at the New Delhi airport on Monday. Government officials had said she was informed in advance that her e-visa had been cancelled.
The Labour Party MP had said that despite having a valid visa she was denied entry into India after she landed at the airport here.
She was among a group of British MPs who issued formal letters expressing concerns over the revocation of Jammu and Kashmir's special status under Article 370 in August last year.
"We are gravely concerned at the announcement by Indian Home Minister, Amit Shah, that Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, which grants special status to Jammu and Kashmir, has been removed by Presidential Order," the Opposition MP had noted in her letter to the UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab at the time.
Cong's Singhvi backs govt on British MP's deportation, says she is 'Pak proxy'
Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi on Tuesday backed the government's decision to deport British lawmaker Debbie Abrahams, saying she was not just an MP, but a "Pakistan proxy".
The Congress party has, however, not come out with any official stand on the issue and instead, asked the government to spell out the reasons for denying the British MP entry into India.
"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 in a tweet.
His party colleague Shashi Tharoor had, however, tweeted in support of Abrahams on Monday.
"I find it ironic that some of the same people who applauded me for going to Britain as an Indian MP & telling them off about their colonial misbehaviour, are attacking me for wanting India to grant a British MP the same privilege! If we can dish it out, we shld be able to take it," Tharoor had written on Twitter.
Asked about the reaction of the Congress on the issue of denial of visa to Abrahams, party spokesperson Gourav Vallabh said the government should spell out the reasons for denying her entry into the country and justify its action.
"I think the government should say what were the reasons for denying her entry and also if there was really some threat that she was bringing to India. If they can give some justification, only then I think it will be appropriate to comment on whether it was justified or not," he told reporters.