New Delhi/Beijing: Just days after it emerged that India has granted visa to World Uyghur Congress (WUC) leader Dolkun Isa to visit Dharamsala and meet the Dalai Lama, New Delhi is on Monday reported to have done a U-turn on the issue.
ANI and other news outlets reported that the visa granted to the Uyghur leader, whom China calls a 'terrorist', has been cancelled.
ANI based the report on sources in the Ministry of Home Affairs.
The Hindu quoted Isa as saying that Indian officials have sent him an email stating that the visa issued to him has been cancelled.
“I really wanted to visit India. But I received an email on Saturday informing that my visa which was issued on April 6 has been cancelled. No explanations were given. No Indian official called me personally to convey this decision. It’s a very sad situation for us,” Isa told The Hindu from Berlin where he is based.
India's move to grant visa to Isa had reportedly angered China. The cancellation of visa is being seen as a reaction to protest from China over the issue.
When Indian had granted visa to Isa, it was seen as New Delhi's response to Beijing's move to block a ban on Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) chief Maulana Masood Azhar at the United Nations.
China, which considers WUC leaders as supporters of terrorism in its volatile Muslim-dominated Xinjiang province, had stated that Dolkun is a “terrorist” on Interpol’s Red Corner.
It is the obligation of all countries to bring him to justice, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying had said.
“What I want to point out is that Dolkun is a terrorist in red notice of the Interpol and Chinese police. Bringing him to justice is due obligation of relevant countries,” Hua added.
Isa and other WUC leaders were granted visa to attend a conference on democracy and China in Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh. Isa was also due to meet exiled Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama.
Xinjiang, which has over 10 million Uyghur population of Turkik-origin Muslims, has been on the boil for several years over Uyghur protests against the large-scale settlements of Han Chinese from different parts of the country.
China blames East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM), a militant Islamist group, for terrorist attacks in Xinjiang and other parts of the country.