The two activists were scheduled to attend an inter-faith conference this month in Dharamsala, the seat of Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama. Isa, too, had been invited to attend this event.. Tiananmen activist Lu Jinghua. (Source: Lu Jinghua Facebook)
AFTER Germany-based Uighur leader Dolkun Isa’s visa was cancelled amidst protests by China, two other Chinese dissidents — New York-based Tiananmen Square protester Lu Jinghua and Hong Kong-based activist Ray Wong — have been denied visas by India.
The two activists were scheduled to attend an inter-faith conference this month in Dharamsala, the seat of Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama. Isa, too, had been invited to attend this event.
Jinghua claimed in a tweet posted on Wednesday that she was at the JFK airport on April 25 to catch a flight to India when she was informed by staff during check-in that her visa had been rejected. She said she had applied for an e-visa, and alleged that China had pressured India to cancel it.
READ: Uyghur leader Dolkun Isa’s statement on India’s withdrawal of his visa
In another tweet with a photograph of herself posing with four others, Jinghua said, “I was planning to wear this dress to see the Dalai Lama on the 28th. Unfortunately I was not able to get a visa on time.”Official sources, however, said no visas were issued to Jinghua or Wong.
“We have received some information from the Ministry of Home Affairs on both these cases. Insofar as Lu Jinghua is concerned, her documents were illegible and there was inconsistency with the purpose of her visit,” said official sources.
WATCH | India Denies Visas To 2 More Chinese Dissidents: An Analysis
“Insofar as Ray Wong is concerned, there was data inconsistency in his documents. As such, visas were not issued to both these individuals. The question of revocation does not arise,” said sources.
Wong is a co-founder of the group Hong Kong Indigenous that advocates more autonomy for Hong Kong. He is out on bail after being charged with rioting during the unrest in Mong Kok in February, when police tried to clear illegal food stalls.
Meanwhile, official sources said that following the controversy over cancellation of the visa granted to Isa, the Home Ministry’s database is now being linked with Interpol’s data on those against whom Red Corner Notices have been issued.
On Monday, Home Ministry officials had stated that since Isa’s name did not come up in a blacklist on their computerised system, his application for an e-tourist visa was granted. Later, when media reported that Isa was travelling to India to attend a conference, the Home Ministry realised his visit was not for tourism purposes and cancelled the visa, they said.
Sources, however, had revealed at the time that Isa’s visa was withdrawn after China lodged official protests through diplomatic channels, and reminded Delhi about a Red Corner Notice on him.Defending the decision to revoke the visa granted to Isa, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Thursday said that he had “suppressed” facts from Indian authorities.
“Isa applied for a tourist visa under the electronic travel authorisation system. He was accordingly granted the visa. After obtaining the visa, Isa stated publicly that he was coming to attend a conference in India. A fact which was suppressed in the visa form and something that a tourist visa does not permit…. Furthermore, it came to the notice of authorities that Isa was subject of a Interpol Red Corner notice,” said MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup.
He said that the visa was revoked not under pressure from China, but after Chinese authorities made it clear that India should honour the Red Corner notice. “They made their position clear that Isa has a Interpol Red Corner Notice and all the countries which are members of Interpol should honour that,” said Swarup.
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