UK MP deported after IGI midnight drama

UK MP deported after IGI midnight drama

NEW DELHI: In a series of dramatic late night events at Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport, New Delhi, on Wednesday, India had to deport Lord Alex Carlile, the British peer and lawyer of former Bangladesh Prime Minister Begum Khaleda Zia. He was refused him entry on arrival from London as he was not carrying a "valid visa"".

The drama took a new turn on Thursday when the deported Lord addressed a Press conference in a five star hotel from his residence in London after boarding a return British flight in the early hours of Thursday. He was denied entry to India precisely because he planned to have a Press conference in New Delhi about the court cases of Begum Khaleda Zia, who is in jail.

In his Press conference, Lord Carlile alleged that India was under pressure from the Bangladesh Government to prevent his entry to the capital of India. Later in the day, MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar dismissed Lord Alex Carlile's allegations. Kumar explained that before the cancellation of his E-visa, he was told that his intended activity in India was incompatible with the officially mentioned purpose of his visit as mentioned in his visa application.

Kumar also said that the whole purpose of Lord Alex Carlile's visit was suspect as he was already carrying a boarding pass for a return British Flight. The official spokesperson said that Lord Alex Carlile's only objective was to create a problem within Bangladesh and trigger a misunderstanding between good neighbours India and Bangladesh.

Kumar stressed that India has always engaged with both the ruling Awami League and Opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) of Bangladesh as has been manifest in all high-level visits to that country.

Explaining the flaws in Lord Carlile's visa application, the MEA spokesperson said that he had applied for a business e-visa here but was trying to organise a political Press conference. This amounts to a violation of basic visa rules. Even more intriguing was the fact that after being informed that his visa was not valid, he decided to travel to India and also with a return ticket. What he did is totally uncalled for, Kumar pointed out.

The MEA spokesperson also clarified that if someone applies for a student visa and later starts a job, it amounts to a clear violation of visa rules. Everyone has to follow the law of the land.

"Unfortunately, Lord Carlile violated that. You cannot come with a business visa and do contrary to that. This is not acceptable," said the spokesperson.

Gautam Lahiri

Gautam Lahiri

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