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German IIT Madras Student, Sent Back Over Anti-CAA Protests, Says Movement Needs Support of Millions

Jacob Lindenthal of IIT Madras took part in an anti-CAA protest in Chennai. (News18)

Jacob Lindenthal of IIT Madras took part in an anti-CAA protest in Chennai. (News18)

In a message posted on Facebook, Jacob Lindenthal said that nationwide protests against the CAA and National Register of Citizens show that 'political freedom and rule of the law need the support of millions of open eyes and loud voices.'

New Delhi: Jacob Lindenthal, a postgraduate student of physics at the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras (IIT Madras), who was sent back allegedly for participating in an anti-Citizenship Act (CAA) protest two weeks ago, reached Amsterdam on Thursday.

In a message posted on Facebook, Lindenthal said that nationwide protests against the CAA and National Register of Citizens show that “political freedom and rule of the law need the support of millions of open eyes and loud voices.”

"This morning I landed in Amsterdam safely and will return to my family in Nuremberg soon. Thank you all for the huge solidarity that you showed! Thank you for your messages, the legal advice and the shelter I was given when my flight out of India was delayed by one day. I will take some days to arrive at home and find out where the road leads," Lindenthal wrote.

Holding a placard that had an indirect reference to the Nazi persecution of the Jews in Germany between 1933-1945 during the Hitler regime, Lindenthal had told co-participants at a protest last week that small measures against Jews had not attracted much attention initially. Such measures eventually led to their mass killings, he had said.

He left for the Dutch capital on Monday night as the immigration department asked him to leave India by midnight or face deportation, he said.

“These events are not so much about me but show that political freedom and rule of the law need the support of millions of open eyes and loud voices. My deep respect goes to all of you who carry the protests against the CAA and NRC across India and across the world,” he wrote in the FB post.

Assuring his friends and classmates back in India of finding a way to be with them, the German student added, I also want to bow down in front of those cannot show their concern about ongoing political developments openly because their existence would be threatened but who still find the ways to support those who are showing their faces. Even though the protests happen for very concerning reasons, I hope that they will bring together people who want a change for the better, for true representation, freedom of expression and civil rights.”