Sheela Bhatt in New Delhi
The Ministry of External Affairs has made up its mind to deny visas to a team of Labour Party MPs from Britain if they intend to travel to Gujarat and Jammu and Kashmir as "observers."
"We have not been informed officially by the high commissioner about their impending visit. But if they apply for visas to observe the situation in the two states, we will say sorry. They are not welcome as observers," a source in the ministry told rediff.com
"India is very unhappy over the proposed visit. We would like to know their real purpose behind the visit," he added.
The British MPs told the press in London that they intended to visit Gujarat and J&K "to get a clearer picture of the situation on the ground."
Many of these MPs have a sizeable number of Muslims in their constituencies.
In March, India had made its displeasure known when a British embassy report on Gujarat riots was "leaked" to the press. The report had claimed that over 2000 people were killed in the riots. Official figures have put the toll at around 900.
On Monday, an Amnesty International team was denied visas to India because it wanted to visit Gujarat to investigate the riots.
In a statement Amnesty International said: "A government which fully accepts its responsibilities in protecting its citizens and upholds their constitutional rights to life and equality does not shy away from international scrutiny."
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