German IIT-M student asked to leave India for taking part in CAA protest

A protestor holds a placard during a demonstration against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) | Photo: PTI
A German student at the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras has said he was asked to leave India for protesting against the new citizenship law that has sparked unrest across the country. 

“1933 to 1945; We Have Been There,” said a poster Jacob Lindenthal, carried when he joined other people in Chennai to protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act last week. Lindenthal had a semester left of his post-graduation in Physics and he was scheduled to leave India in May 2020

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.

A students' body, ChintaBar, tweeted in solidarity with Lindenthal.


It has come to our notice that, Jakob Lindenthal, an MS exchange student from Germany in the department of Physics at IIT Madras has been asked to leave the country by the immigration department due to his participation in the anti CAA protests.

— ChintaBAR (@ChintaBAR) December 23, 2019

Citing sources, The Indian Express reported that an IIT official had sent a report about Lindenthal’s participation in the protests to “higher-ups.” When contacted by the newspaper, IIT officials said they were unaware of the “incident” involving Lindenthal.

Reports said a foreigner participating in a political activity or protest is a violation of visa norms. 

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