India orders Norwegian to leave country for protesting | News | DW | 27.12.2019
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India orders Norwegian to leave country for protesting

A 71-year-old tourist has said she was asked to fly home after taking part in rallies against a new Indian citizenship law. A German student also left the country this week as protesting violates India's visa rules.

Norwegian holidaymaker Janne-Mette Johannson on Friday became the second European to be asked to leave India for taking part in protests against a new citizenship law.

The 71-year-old, who was staying in the southern state of Kerala, told the AFP news agency she was interrogated and told that she faced deportation if she didn't leave.

 "Yesterday [Thursday], Indian immigration officials came to my hotel for questioning and I was mentally tortured," she said. "Today, they again showed up at my hotel asking me to leave the country or they will take legal action and deport me."

An official at the Foreigners' Regional Registration Office (FRRO) in Kochi confirmed to Germany's DPA news agency that Johannson had been asked to leave.

Read more: Indian state shuts down internet ahead of protests

Watch video 02:10

Outrage on the streets of India

Checked with police first

The tourist, who had posted photos from the demonstration on Facebook, insisted she had previously been given "verbal assurances" from police that she could participate in the protest.

She added that she would now leave India for Dubai on Friday evening and then fly to Sweden.

European visitors to India receive visas that forbid participation in political events and protests, according to reports.

Earlier this week, a German physics student on an exchange program at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Chennai was also asked to leave for violating visa rules.

Jakob Lindenthal had also participated in a rally, apparently comparing the citizenship law to anti-Jewish Nazi legislation. 

Photos on social media purportedly showed him carrying a placard saying "1933-1945 We have been there."

Lindenthal told DW that he saw it as his duty to "not only watch when things happen that one believes to be the stepping stones to a possibly very dangerous development."

Protesters welcomed solidarity

He added that his participation had been welcomed by many other protesters at the university campus.

Read more: India's Modi says new citizenship law is not against Muslims

Watch video 00:18

German told to leave India over protests

The new law, which the government says eases citizenship rules for religious minorities from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan, excludes Muslims because they face no persecution in those countries.

Critics say the law discriminates against Muslims and is against India's secular constitution.

Nationwide protests, which have raged for two weeks and left at least 27 people dead, were set to continue on Friday with mobile internet shut down in places and riot police deployed.

mm/sms (AFP, dpa)

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