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Saturday, February 17, 2024

Why was Labour MP Debbie Abrahams denied entry to India?

Indian authorities refused to let prominent politician and Labor MP Debbie Abrahams enter into the country for her vocal stance on Kashmir and controversial Citizenship Bill. International media and politicians condemned the Indian government for its continuous manifestation of being a fascist regime that intends to silence Kashmiris.

In a latest development, the Indian government’s ‘inexplicable’ decision to deny entry to prominent politician and Labour MP Debbie Abrahams caused outrage in the UK as politicians and media united to condemn the Indian regime for barring her entry because she speaks in favor of the oppressed people of Kashmir and has strongly condemned Modi for India’s anti-Muslim citizenship laws. Analysts believe that India under Prime Minister Narendra Modi is transforming into a Hindustan where RSS’ ideology prevails over everything else.

According to media reports, the politicians called on the Indian Government to explain why the Labour MP from Oldham East and Saddleworth was denied entry to the country despite having a valid visa. The Guardian, The Times, BBC, Sky, The Independent, Mirror, and dozens of other media outlets published news of the MP being barred, condemning the Indian government’s intolerance.

The MP describes herself as being “passionate about tackling inequalities” in society. She was a member of the UK Parliament’s Work & Pensions Select Committee from June 2011 to March 2015 and was re-elected in July 2015. In September that year, she was appointed as Shadow Minister for Disabled People, and in June 2016 as Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.

Read more: Indian military actions in Kashmir: Can a war be ruled out?

Indian media claims that the MP was denied entry for not having a valid visa. However, Ms. Abrahams said she had an e-visa valid until October 2020 but was “treated like a criminal” when she arrived in India.

It is worth noting that recently a group of 154 members of the European Parliament has drafted a resolution against India’s Citizenship Amendment Act, saying it could trigger the “largest statelessness crisis in the world”.

It describes the CAA as discriminatory and dangerously divisive but also a violation of India’s international obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

The lawmakers are from the S&D Group, a forum of leaders from 26 European Union countries. They aim to uphold the values of equality, diversity, and fairness.

It called the CAA “explicitly discriminatory in nature” as it excludes Muslims from having access to the same provisions as other religious groups.

Read more: Diplomatic Defeat for India: EU Parliament is all set to Reject CAA

The resolution has also called on the Indian government to ensure the right to peaceful protest is allowed and to guarantee the life and physical integrity of those who choose to protest. The resolution also denounced the CAA.

What is CAA?

According to CAA, six minorities including Jain, Sikhs, Hindus, Christians, Parsis, and Buddhists from three neighboring countries Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh are eligible to get citizenship of India if they have lived for six years in the country. These lists exclude Muslim immigrants who have entered the country the same way as other non-Muslims immigrants. This bill amends the citizenship acts of 1995. It is the first time that India has used religion as a legal basis for determining nationality.

Previously India was receiving many illegal migrants from neighboring countries, and the influx of the migrants coming into the country created many problems especially in the Muslim majority providence of Assam. These migrants include people of different religions Hindus, Christians, and Muslims. India does not have any law to give refugee status to illegal migrants, instead, it holds the legal right to deport them. This is likely to create a severe humanitarian crisis if these migrants have to face deportation on the basis of faith. The government of India identifies the migrants (on religious grounds) and give them refugee status one by one.

Read more: India is violating international obligations, European Parliamentarians

Opposition parties condemn this bill saying it is “unconstitutional and unprecedented”, as never before has religion been the basis of any law in the Indian constitution. Further, they fear that it will marginalize the Indian 200 million Muslim population since it is discriminatory and exclusionary in nature.

Chidambaram from the opposition party said the government was “wrecking and demolishing India’s secular constitution”. The bottom line of all criticism is that this bill is not in line with the Indian constitution but in fact, it is the negation of the creation of India.

Rahul Gandhi Congress leader opposing CAA said, “The CAA is an attack on the Indian constitution. Anyone who supports it is attacking and attempting to destroy the foundation of our nation.”

European Parliament stood up for Kashmir

Recently, the European Parliament stood up for the people of Kashmir as was tweeted by the Government of Pakistan, “Members of European Parliament called on India to immediately put a halt to its atrocities in Indian Occupied Kashmir and carry out investigations into the incidents of grave human rights violations.”

It is important to note that a United Nations report accused India of human rights violations in occupied Kashmir and has called for the formation of a commission of inquiry into the allegations.

A 43-page report released by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said the Muslim-majority region of Kashmir is claimed in full by both India and Pakistan, who have fought two wars so far over the Himalayan territory.

Read more: Modi-led government is silencing journalists in occupied Kashmir

India under Modi is making all possible efforts to avoid criticism and continues relentless use of violence against the innocent Kashmiris. This is yet to be seen as to how the international community responds to India’s fascist tendencies, and genocide of Kashmiris.