NEW DELHI: A German student at the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras has allegedly been asked to leave India days after he participated in a protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act.
During a protest in Chennai, the German student identified as Jakob Lindenthal had carried a poster that made a reference to the Nazi rule in his own country: “1933 to 1945 – we have been there”.
Lindentha is pursuing a post-graduation as an exchange student in the department of Physics at IIT Madras.
He left for Amsterdam on Monday night days after the tweets of Jakob holding placards against the CAA went viral.
Before leaving for his home, Jakob told The New Indian Express that he had received “oral directions” to leave the country by midnight or face deportation as he violated visa rules by participating the anti-CAA protest.
“After I reached Chennai this morning, my course coordinator advised me to meet immigration officials immediately. When I reached there, they cited some administrative issues related to my residential permit in India. After I resolved their queries and it was clear that there were no issues regarding my residential permit, they started asking me about my politics and hobbies. It was an extensive casual conversation. They asked about CAA and my participation in anti-CAA protests. We discussed the demonstration culture. There were three officers including one who asked me all the questions. All of them were unnamed. Towards the end of the conversation, they said I may have to leave the country immediately for violating my student visa rules. When I asked for a written letter, they returned my passport and said that I may leave. They said I will get the written letter but I did not receive one. Soon, I rushed back to the IIT campus, booked my ticket, packed everything and left for the airport.”
According to reports, a foreigner taking part in a political activity or protest is a violation of visa norms.
ChintaBar, which organised the protest in IIT-M, in a FaceBook post extended, “solidarity and gratitude to Jakob, for being part of struggles to protect the rights of people in this country and his concern for humanity.”
They also tweeted in solidarity with Lindenthal