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Spotted at anti-CAA protests, German student at IIT Madras told to leave India

Jakob Lindenthal, a German exchange student doing his Masters in Physics at IIT Madras, participated in an anti-CAA protest holding a placard that drew Nazi reference.

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Chennai: Jakob Lindenthal, a German student on an exchange programme at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras, was reportedly asked to leave the country after he took part in protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).

He was seen holding placards at anti-CAA protests in Chepauk and Valluvar Kottam areas of Chennai. During one of the protests, he was seen carrying a poster that made a reference to the Nazi rule in his own country: “1933 to 1945 – we have been there”.

He was also seen carrying a placard that said “Uniformed criminals = criminals”, and even gave interviews to a few TV channels from the protest sites.

Lindenthal, who is a student of the Technical University of Dresden, was pursuing his post-graduation in physics at IIT-Madras.

A senior official at the Foreigners Regional Registration Office told The Indian Express that it was a “clear case” of violation of visa rules for foreigners staying in India if the German student attended a protest. “This isn’t the same as deportation. His visa may be cancelled soon.”

The Express report also said an IIT official had sent a report to “higher-ups” about Lindenthal’s participation in the protests, though the Dean of Students S. Sivakumar said he was not aware of it.

Quoting sources in the immigration department, a report in The Times of India also said a foreigner participating in political activities or protests amounted to violation of visa norms. An official said such violation attracts deportation, and also an inquiry.

ThePrint has sent an email to IIT-Madras for comment but is yet to get a reply. This report will be updated when the institute responds.

Also read: Drones, medical care, shame, shame!: How high courts are dealing with CAA protest pleas

‘Questions asked about my political stance’

Lindenthal left for Amsterdam from Chennai via New Delhi late Monday night.

Before boarding his flight back home, the German student told The Federal: “I was informed about the summon from the immigration office by my department faculty. While the initial interaction with the immigration officials did not hint anything, the questions on my political stance and involvement in anti-CAA protests that followed made it evident.”

He said he had also offered a written apology when accused of violating the student visa norms but was allegedly asked to leave the country as soon as possible.

Talking to ThePrint, an acquaintance of his at the IIT-Madras said, “Lindenthal had only one semester remaining to complete the programme. He had taken part in other protests too, and have helped fellow students during a hunger strike against the alleged suicide of IIT-Madras student Fathima Latheef in the campus last month.”

Also read: UP Police arrest state head of Islamic outfit PFI, 2 aides for ‘inciting’ CAA violence


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  1. For the people who don’t know this is standard rule across countries for students who come on exchange. Even countries can cancel Permanent Residentship if found with such activities. So no need to create hue cry for him. He very well knew the rules as well as warned during his prior protest.

  2. If it’s against the visa rules, it’s against the visa rules. Why was a German national protesting about an internal Indian matter anyway? How does it concern him? Citing human rights doesn’t cut it. His country has already foolishly let in millions of migrants that are steadily ruining the local culture. We don’t want that here. And if that was his agenda, it is good that he went back.

  3. Correct decision. 70 years of lINC love to terrorists has killed India. Let usbecome a developed nation before these this ‘thugs of India’ ruin us .

  4. Very good decision. We Indians are never ever allowed in any other country to participate like this and we never do also. It is non of his business to join again our Government policy and it is insult if we allow such practice, of course Rahul Gandhi will object and support this foreigner as this is the least we can expect fr Rahul !! Thank GOD he is not from Italy !!!!!

    Foreign students all over the world participate in demonstrations..
    When they do wrong they are arrested brought to court, sentenced, jailed –
    Onyl for the most grave crimes like murder and rape a foreigner deported after punishment in prison.
    If this person has done wrong he should have been arrested and brought before a judge and given a hearing..
    The Indian Ambassador in Germany should be summoned by the German FO and asked to explain.
    Thousands of Indian citizens study and work in Germany.
    Imagine a German government deporting an Indian without giving him a chance to go through the German courts.

  6. The latest gentleman to feel the tungsten edge of the state. After returning home, he will deter hundreds of Germans from visiting India in future as tourists.

    • No, he will not. And people will forget soon all about it. Egypt has seen worse where tourists have been butchered. Do you want to say tourists have stopped going there.

    • Not at all, Germans are fed up of the crime wave Muslims (so-called ‘refugees’) have brought into their country and applaud CAA. The majority of readers’ comments in German papers are in praise of Modi. That young German student is a fool, clearly in breach of his visa rules forbidding political engagement. Let him shout his mouth off in Germany.

    • Which ISI manufactured pill do you take? India has a ministry of tourism to take care of tourists. Keep your foul mouth shut as it smells like a wild animal.

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