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India shows the door to German student & Norwegian tourist who joined protests against citizenship law

India shows the door to German student & Norwegian tourist who joined protests against citizenship law
Two Europeans were sent packing by India this week after they took up placards and joined the crowds protesting the new Citizenship Amendment Act.

Janne Mette-Johannson, a 74 year-old Norwegian citizen who arrived in India on a tourist visa in October, was asked by the Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO) on Friday to leave the country, she reported on her Facebook page. The Indian authorities say her tourist visa does not allow her to take part in organized protests, so she was in violation when she took part on Monday.

“Now pretty soon on my way to the airport. A friend fixing a flight ticket to Dubai and from there catching a flight back home to Sweden,” she wrote.

The march in the city of Kochi was one of many demonstrations against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), which some people in India perceive as discriminatory against Muslims. Mette-Johannson joined hundreds of other protesters, and shared a photo of herself holding a placard on social media.

Days earlier, a German exchange student from Dresden left India after his participation in a protest against the CAA was deemed a violation of his visa. Jakob Lindenthal went to the country in August to study physics at the Indian Institute of Technology in the city of Chennai and was supposed to take two semesters before returning to Germany in May 2020.

Lindenthal was photographed carrying signs that read “1933-1945: We have been there” and “No democracy without dissent” during last week’s protest. On Monday, he flew to Amsterdam, he wrote on his Facebook page.

The CAA offers a fast track to Indian citizenship to religious minorities in three Muslim-majority neighboring countries: Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh. The Indian government denies the law is discriminatory in any way, and is in fact necessary on humanitarian grounds, while adding that the protests are largely fueled by misinformation.

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