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SOURCE: ANI

India has refuted reports of Indian companies taking over visa issuance at Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) in Colombo. The Indian High Commission in Colombo said in a statement that the companies being referred to in the report are not India-based and any reference to India is “unwarranted.” “We have seen reports and comments including in social media regarding Indian companies taking over visa issuance at Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA), Colombo,” the statement read.

“The companies referred to in these reports are not India-based or Indian and are headquartered elsewhere. Any reference to India in this context is unwarranted.” the Indian mission added. As per the local Sri Lankan media outlet, The Daily Mirror stated that chaos broke out at the BIA last night following the controversial takeover of the on-arrival visa issuance process at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) by an Indian company.

This company has been charging an extra USD 25, whereas the Immigration and Emigration Department has been managing the process smoothly for several years, the newspaper reported. Furthermore, the Indian company levied an extra USD 25 alongside the standard USD 75 fee, Daily Mirror reported. When contacted, Controller General of the Immigration and Emigration Department Harsha Illukpitiya said that the visa issuance procedure was returned to their jurisdiction because the private company was unable to ensure a smooth operation.

According to Daily Mirror, the video circulating on social media depicted long queues at the airport. A Sri Lankan individual was seen blaming the Indian visa issuing officers, alleging that his wife’s on-arrival visa was cancelled.