More than 2,000 Indians have been told to leave India ahead of a new visa regime that restricts travel to the UK and the European Union and blocks citizens from the rest of the world.
The restrictions, which come into effect Monday, are designed to stop thousands of Indian nationals from travelling abroad for business and pleasure, including to the U.K. and France.
The government says it has “no other option” but to enforce the restrictions.
In response to questions about the new restrictions, a spokesman for the foreign ministry said they were being implemented to safeguard the national security of the country and to maintain national security.
“We are not going to let these people who do not want to come and work or travel overseas for the sake of their family or relatives, for the benefit of the economy, to get away with it,” said S.N. Sharma, a foreign ministry spokesman.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who took office in May, has said he would not be “worried” about the restrictions and said he expected the travel restrictions to be lifted by the end of the year.
On Monday, the foreign ministers of France and the U, as well as the European Council, met in Brussels to discuss the new visa restrictions, but the summit was overshadowed by protests in London against the restrictions, leading to the resignation of European Council President Donald Tusk.
India’s foreign ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
As well as preventing tourists from travelling to the British Isles, the restrictions mean people from the European Economic Area can no longer visit India for five months.
India is one of the top destinations for foreign tourists in the world, with some of the highest rates of tourism in the developing world.
It is home to some of Asia’s richest economies, including China and Japan.
Indonesia has been grappling with a surge in migrants seeking to cross the narrow Strait of Malacca, a crucial sea route that is controlled by China, which has blocked its maritime access for decades.
India has not had an official trade war with China since the 1950s and has been trying to forge a close relationship with Beijing, which it views as its main security threat.