In a dramatic turn of events, India deported Alexander Carlile, a well-known British peer and the lawyer representing jailed former Bangladesh Prime Minister Khaleda Zia late on Wednesday night, refusing him entry on arrival from London.
According to an MEA statement, “Lord Carlile” had arrived in New Delhi “without having obtained the appropriate Indian visa”. “His intended activity in India was incompatible with the purpose of his visit as mentioned in his visa application,” the official spokesperson said. Mr. Carlile was due to address a press conference in Delhi to speak about the cases against Ms. Zia, which he has called “baseless”.
According to reports from Dhaka, the Bangladesh government has been unhappy about the visit by the British lawyer, who was denied a visa to Bangladesh by the Hasina government. The reports had said that the Indian High Commission in Dhaka had sent a strong note to New Delhi, advocating a denial of visa to Mr. Carlile for India as well.
It is unclear how Mr. Carlile, a member of the House of Lords in the British parliament, who was appointed as the opposition BNP chief’s legal consultant in March, obtained a visa despite the objection. Sources said the government was alerted when he boarded the Air India flight from London to Delhi, and a decision was taken to send him back in order to stop Mr. Carlile from meeting the press as planned, at a hotel in Delhi.
Last month a BNP delegation had visited Delhi and addressed several think-tanks in the capital, appealing to India to push for “free and fair elections” in Bangladesh, due in December this year. In response, PM Hasina’s political advisor HT Imam had said that India must not allow the BNP to operate here. “I know some of the BNP leaders had visited India. If you see their record, they are not only pro-Pakistan but also extremely pro-China and they work together against the interests of India,” Mr. Imam had alleged.