New Delhi, April 28 (IANS) The government on Thursday for the first time publicly commented on its revocation of visa to Germany-based dissident Chinese Uyghur activist Dolkun Isa, saying he “suppressed” facts while applying.
“Look, our visa policy is very clear. If a bonafide applicant obtains visa based on furnishing correct information, and after following due process, there would be no cause for any revocation,” external affairs ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said in his weekly media briefing here.
“In the specific case of Dolkun Isa, let me clarify the situation since there seems to be a number of misconceptions on this matter,” he said.
“Isa applied for a tourist visa under the electronic travel authorisation system. He was accordingly granted a visa.”
Swarup said that after obtaining the visa, Isa publicly stated that he was coming to India to attend a conference, “a fact that was suppressed in the visa form, something that a tourist visa does not permit”.
Isa was to attend the four-day World Uyghur Congress (WUC) scheduled to start on Thursday in Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh, but it was cancelled earlier this week.
Many saw India’s revocation of the visa as bowing to Chinese pressure.
China also confirmed on Tuesday that it had approached the Indian side through diplomatic channels against Isa’s visit to Dharamsala for the World Uyghur Congress that was being organised by the US-based Initiatives for China.
Swarup said it also came to the notice of the Indian authorities that Isa was a subject of an Interpol Red Corner notice.
“It was in that situation that his visa was cancelled,” the external affairs ministry spokesman stated.
“I would caution against meanings being read either in the visa being given to Isa or its subsequent cancellation.”
The spokesperson said that India was a democratic society “conscious of its responsibilities and those would remain the guiding factors in such matters”.
The conference in Dharamsala was supposed to see ethnic and religious communities in China as well as scholars and activists meet and openly discuss and exchange ideas, promote peaceful dialogue, and reinforce bonds between disparate communities.