New Delhi: India has cancelled the visa issued to World Uyghur Congress (WUC) leader Dolkun Isa to visit Dharamsala to attend a conference and meet the Dalai Lama.
The development came after China protested India's move, stating it regards Isa as a 'terrorist'.
NDTV quoted government sources as saying that the visa to the Chinese dissident leader was withdrawn after learning that an Interpol red corner notice had been issued against him.
After India had issued visa to Isa, China had protested and said it was the “obligation of relevant countries” to bring him to justice as an Interpol notice was already issued against him.
Isa today expressed disappointment over cancellation of his visa to visit India, saying, “I think my visa denial was India's effort to maintain its bilateral relations with China.”
“India had granted me a tourist e-visa, but it was cancelled after my visit was widely reported in the Indian press,” Isa added.
“I express my disappointment on Indian authorities’ cancellation of my visa to attend the Conference in Dharamsala,” the Uyghur leader stated further.
When India 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 considers WUC leaders as supporters of terrorism in its volatile Muslim-dominated Xinjiang province.
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.
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.