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During a protest march in Chennai against CAA-NRC on 23rd December, one placard caught everyone’s attention. The placard which read “1933 to 1945 – we have been there” was held by a German student, reminding us of Nazi Germany.

Days later, the student, Jakob Lindenthal who was on an exchange program at IIT-Madras was asked to deport India.

Here are a few foreign students who participated in the anti-CAA protest and were asked to deport India later.

If the same laws were passed in Germany I wouldn’t remain silent

Jakob Lindenthal who was an exchange student at the Department of Physics, Indian Institute of Technology Madras was asked to deport the country on February 8th. He is a German citizen.

Jakob Lindenthal (Screengrab, Credit: TNM)

Lindenthal told media that he had received her “oral directions” to leave India from the Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO). The officials had informed him that he violated the Visa rules by participating in the protest and hence was deported.

Responding to The News Minute, Lindenthal said that he was disappointed with the way that Indian authorities treated him.

“I was trying to compare the process toward fascism. That’s where I see some parallels. By slowly making Muslims second class citizens one can pave the way for future persecution. That’s the same way it was in Germany with the Jews,” he said.

The student also said that he would not have remained silent if similar laws were passed in Germany.

All I did was share protest photos

Afsara Anika Meem, an undergraduate student of Viswa Bharati University was asked to leave the country by the Home ministry as she took part in “anti-government activities.”

Afsara Anika Meem

She had shared photos of anti-CAA demonstrations that happened at the university. The post attracted the attention of pro-BJP trollers who demanded that she be sent back.

The notice which was sent to Afsara said that she violated the student visa provisions by taking part in anti-government activities and was asked to deport the country within 15 days.

Meanwhile, responding to Indian Express Afsara said, “I am still unable to understand what wrong I have committed to face such a punishment. I posted a few photographs out of curiosity as many of my friends had participated in the protest rally.”

Meem, who pursue a bachelors’ course in design from the university’s department of fine arts, had come to India back in 2018.

For participating in a Rally

Jadavpur University

Kamil Siedcynski is from Poland and is pursuing a Master’s in Comparative Literature from Jadavpur University in Kolkata. He was asked to leave overnight by FRRO officials.

“Siedcynski was served a notice by the FRRO asking him to leave the country within a fortnight on receipt of the notice for alleged conduct deemed inappropriate for a foreign national staying in India on a student visa,” a source from the university said.

Other than this, a Norwegian tourist who had been part of the anti-CAA protest demonstration was also asked to deport the country.  The decision of FRRO to deport students who had participated in the anti-CAA demonstrations speak volumes about free speech in the world’s largest democracy.


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