Proving a point? German student at IIT-Madras asked to leave India for CAA-NRC protest
Photo Credit: ChintaBAR/Twitter

A German student at the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras was asked to leave India days after he attended a protest against the Citizenship Amendment.

According to Indian Express, the German student has been identified as Jakob Lindenthal, who was at IIT Madras as an exchange student in the Department of Physics. During a protest in Chennai, he had carried a poster that made a reference to the Nazi rule in his own country: “1933 to 1945 – we have been there”.

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.

Lindenthal told news organizations IIT-Madras and immigration officials asked him to leave Chennai on Monday. “There were apparently administration 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 him to leave),” he was quoted by as saying. He added that he would consult his lawyer and decide the next course of action.

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