The Indian government has asked a German student pursuing his master's course at the premier Indian Institute of Technology-Madras (IIT-Madras) in the southern city of Chennai to leave the country or face deportation after he was charged with violating visa rules by participating in the ongoing protests against the recently enacted Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).
Jacob Lindenthal, a German postgraduate student of physics at IIT-Madras, left for Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands, late on Monday night after immigration officials in Chennai told him that his participation in the anti-CAA protest last week was unacceptable.
“There were apparently administrative issues with my visa. After ruling these out, I was extensively questioned by the immigration officer about my political opinions. Then I was informed about the decision (asking me to leave),” TV news channel News18 quoted him as saying.
Netizens shared mixed responses with some expressing dismay over the development and likening his marching orders to situations prevailing during the Nazi era of the 1930s and 1940s.
This German student of IIT-Madras has been forced to leave India because he joined an anti CAA protest carrying a poster that said: “1933 to 1945; We Have Been There” (a reference to the Nazi regime in Germany).https://t.co/Y5CvRcElxm
He studied and hence he participated in the protest.— 🇮🇳Sahar Indian (@Mar_Xist) December 24, 2019
No.. Let him stay in India as long as he wants.. Government does not has authority to ask him to leave.. He is just protesting— Aadil (@Apna_Aadil) December 24, 2019
When PM can go to US and ask NRI who have nothing to do with India to vote for Trump why this german students can't.— Shakeeb (@shakeeb_a_khan) December 24, 2019
Others, however, praised the government for taking the correct step and sending out the right message.
Germany can possibly take into its fold all those agitating against CAA and NRC . I think India will have no complaints on this and will give a good send of to those who want to go to Germany.— Raghunatha Ramaswamy (@raghunath7) December 24, 2019
What is wrong in it Aunty ji? He is in no way related to the issue. He should do what he came here for! Studies.— Milind (@milind1264) December 24, 2019
Isn't it illegal for foreigners to participate in Indian politics? I read somewhere but haven't checked it.— Random Guy (@Desi_Irritant) December 24, 2019
Only that ? What about this poster where he calls our Police ‘criminals’?!!— Capt Harish Pillay (@captpillay) December 24, 2019
If he thinks our police are ‘criminals’, he should leave ! Why does he want to remain in our country?
Absolutely on the ball, MEA !
The right decision by the government. Will German government and people there will ever tolerate such protests against them in their country by an outsider ?— Pradip Shah (@PradipS56485621) December 24, 2019
Before leaving the country, Lidenthal said he had just accompanied his friends to the rallies in the city and had not expressed any opinions, and added that he would be consulting his lawyers to decide on his next course of action. He said any statements that he had made were related to the Indian Constitution.
News of Lidenthal being asked to leave Indian shores comes on a day when more anti-CAA protests are expected to take place across the country.
The new law grants citizenship to illegal immigrants from six religious minorities – Hindus, Parsis, Jains, Christians, Buddhists and Sikhs from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan if they have arrived in India before 31 December 2014.
However, it excludes Muslims immigrants, a decision viewed by many protesters as a violation of the Indian Constitution.