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Kochi Foreign Office Questions Norwegian Tourist over Her Participation in Anti-CAA Protest

The development comes close on the heels of the Chennai immigration department's move asking a German exchange student to leave India after he took part in an anti-CAA agitation.

News18.com

Updated:December 26, 2019, 11:39 PM IST
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Kochi Foreign Office Questions Norwegian Tourist over Her Participation in Anti-CAA Protest
Photo posted by Janne Mette-Johannson on her Facebook profile.

New Delhi: A Norwegian tourist, who took part in anti-citizenship law protests in Kochi in Kerala, was summoned by authorities on Thursday seeking an explanation over her presence at the demonstrations. The development comes close on the heels of the Chennai immigration department's move asking a German exchange student to leave India after he took part in an anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) agitation.

Janne Mette-Johannson, who is on a visit to India, is likely to face similar action after the Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO) called her for an inquiry. The FRRO, which comes under the Union Home Ministry, is an office exclusively for the services of foreign tourists in the country.

The development was confirmed by Anoop Krishnan, the Foreigners Regional Registration Officer, who said Mette-Johannson was called for a brief meeting to the office in Nedumbassery.

"We are investigating whether the foreigner has violated Visa norms or not. We can't say a concrete action is taken into it. An inquiry is on," news agency PTI quoted Foreigners Regional Registration Officer Anoop Krishnan as saying. He said the agency came to know about the participation of the foreign national in the protest from the social media platform.

Mette-Johannson, who took part in the protests on Monday, posted her picture on Facebook with a message saying, “It started out from Gandhi Circle, Ernakulam, and we marched with slogans and flags to Vasco Da Gama Square Cochin while the protesters were singing and chanting and with their fists up. The People’s Long March was very well organised. During these 12 km, there were two places we got water with salt and sugar, we also had orange juice. No riots, just people determined, lifting up their voices, saying what has to be said. The police were helpful during this protest march (sic)."

The 74-year-old tourist, who has visited India several times since 2014, arrived in October and holds a tourist visa valid till March 2020.

Jacob Lindenthal, a postgraduate student of physics at the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras (IIT Madras), left for Amsterdam on Monday after his participation in an anti-CAA protest last week landed him in trouble with the immigration department.

Officers in Chennai informed him that his participation had violated visa rules. Lindenthal, who was here on an exchange programme, was attached to the Physics Department of the institute.

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

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

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