'78kg of love': German student checks out of India with a powerful message

The German student at Indian Institute of Madras, who was directed to leave India after protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) 2019, bids adieu to India. As he leaves the country, he thanked the country for a wonderful time and said that he was forced to leave for speaking up for political freedom. He left the counrty with a power message.

“Thank you, India, for a wonderful time! Forced to leave suddenly after speaking up for political freedom. Me: 78 kgs of love for this country and 78kgs of contempt for someone who rule it,” Jakob Lindenthal said.

Jakob was an exchange student in the Department of Physics at IIT Madras. Earlier, during a protest in Chennai, he was seen holding a poster that made a reference to the Nazi rule in Germany. : “1933 to 1945 – we have been there,” the poster read.

Before leaving for his home on Monday, Jakob Lindenthal told the Indian Express that he had received “oral directions” to leave India from the Foreigners Regional Registration Office in (FRRO) in Chennai around noon.

Speaking to The Indian Express, Jakob said "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.”

Jakob also said that later he received a call from an official in the Dean’s office, who suggested that he should leave tomorrow. An official at the Foreigners Regional Registration Office said Lindenthal violated visa rules if he attended the protest, and the institution was bound to report the matter to authorities.

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