Govt Expels German Exchange Student from India for Protesting CAA
Jakob Lindenthal, an exchange student from Germany on Monday was allegedly asked by the immigration department to return to his country for taking part against the Citizenship Amendment Act. The 24-year-old German student protested on an exchange programme at IIT-Madras against the CAA. The Immigration department insisted that he has violated his visa regulations by taking part in the protest.
The students of IIT-M carried out a march demanding the Centre revoke the controversial Citizen Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC). On the evening of December 16, Jakob carried placards that said, “1933-1945 — We have been there” and “Uniformed Criminals = Criminals”.
On December 23, he was summoned to the BoI office and questioned till afternoon. After a long discussion, he was told to leave the country. IIT sources said that he was given no written communication and was orally informed. He was instructed to reapply to revisit the country.
Mr Lindenthal was pursuing his study in the IIT since July and was a student of the Department of Physics. His exchange programme was to end by May 2020. “Jakob was called by his co-ordinator at IIT, and he was told that there was an issue with his residence permit and he had to go to the immigration department. Later, he told us that an officer spoke to him about the permit and then casually asked what his opinion was on the anti-CAA protest. When Jakob made his opposition clear, the officer told him that he disagreed. Jakob was asked to wait outside. He was called back and told to leave India immediately,” stated one of his friend.
Jakob immediately booked his tickets as per order and went to his hostel to collect his belongings. On Monday, his Chennai-Delhi flight was delayed by four hours, and so he missed his flight to Germany that was scheduled at 3.30 am. Jacob wrote a farewell message to some classmates, saying, “I am the airport. Leaving. I won’t come back. Decided by immigration office.”
The protest against CAA has reached almost every part of the country. Chinta Bar, a student Facebook page, expressed their solidarity with the German student. “It has come to our notice that, Jakob Lindenthal, an MS exchange student from Germany in the Department of Physics at IIT Madras has been asked to leave the country by the immigration department regarding his participation in the anti-CAA protests. ChintaBAR extends solidarity and gratitude to Jakob, for being part of struggles to protect the rights of people in this country and his concern for humanity,” it wrote.