India has succumbed to Chinese pressure once again after it denied visa to another Chinese dissident leader and Tiananmen activist Lu Jinghua.
This came after the Narendra Modi government at the Centre earlier cancelled the visa of another Chinese dissident leader, Dolkun Isa.
Isa a prominent Uyghur leader currently in exile in Germany had been granted visa to travel to India to take part in a conference in Dharamsala, but under pressure from China, the Indian government was forced to withdraw the visa.
Jinghua said that she was refused ro board the Air India plane by Indian authorities, who informed her about the decision to withdraw her visa.
While justifying the U-turn on Isa, the Indian government had cited the Interpol red corner notice. However, in Jinghua’s case, the authorities are blaming the dissident leader for not having applied for the visa under right cotegory.
Jinghua, now a US citizen, told India Today that she was stopped from boarding the AI flight in New York as one official informed her that her visa had now been cancelled.
The latest revocation of visa will cause considerable embarrassment for Modi, as it will be seen as a sign of a weak prime minister.
Jinghua was 28 years old, married with a small child, and selling clothing from a stall in Beijing when she wandered down to Tiananmen Square on 24 May, 1989.
According to Human Rights Watch, there she spotted the Beijing Workers Autonomous Federation banner. It didn’t take her long to get up to speed on the issues, and for the next eleven days she was the voice of the workers in the Square. Ten days after her name appeared on an 19 August wanted list of “major criminals who have not yet been caught,” Lu was out of hiding and safe in Hong Kong. She came to the U.S. on 8 December, 1989, an exile from her homeland. For six years Lu worked as an organizer for the International Ladies Garment Workers Union. In 1996, she switched to computer work; today she sells real estate.
Many experts had described Modi government’s decision to cancel Isa’s visa as a diplomatic blunder.