Congress MP Shashi Tharoor has backed a German IIT-Madras student who was expelled and asked to leave India for taking part in anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protests. Taking to Twitter on Tuesday, he asked the HRD Ministry to withdraw the student's expulsion.
"This is dismaying. We used to be a proud democracy, an example to the world. No democracy punishes freedom of expression," Tharoor tweeted on Tuesday.
"I call on Dr Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank (HRD Minister) to instruct IIT Madras to withdraw the expulsion and allow India to hold head high in the academic world," he added.
This is dismaying. We used to be a proud democracy, an example to the world: https://t.co/M1MU3CyJVT No democracy punishes freedom of expression. I call on @DrRPNishank to instruct @iitmadras to withdraw the expulsion & allow India to hold its head high in the academic world.- Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) December 24, 2019
Jakob Lindenthal, a German student in the Department of Physics at IIT-Madras was a part of a one-year exchange programme. He along with other students of IIT-Madras carried out a march from Gajendra Circle inside the IIT campus to the Himalaya block in solidarity with the students of Jamia and AMU. The students were also protesting against the CAA and National Register of Citizens (NRC) demanding the Centre to revoke them.
Speaking to India Today TV at the protest, Lindenthal said, "I'm here in solidarity and for human rights." He can be seen holding a poster that said, "1933 to 1945; we have been there."
The placard was in reference to the Nazi reign in Germany during the said period.
Right after the demonstration, he was informed orally by the Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO) in Chennai to leave the country.
The German student was supposed to leave India after his exams next year. He told the news channel that he was Bengaluru when he was asked to meet FRRO officials in Chennai.
Lindenthal further detailed that on reaching Chennai, his course coordinator suggested him to meet the immigration officials. When he reached the FRRO, the officers referred to administrative issues regarding his residential permit in India. They also asked Lindenthal about politics and his hobbies.
The German student also told a national daily that the officers queried him regarding the reason why he took part in the anti-CAA protests. As their conversation ended, the officials asked him to leave the country right away for violating student visa rules.
When Lindenthal asked the immigration officers for a written letter in this regard, they gave him back his passport and asked him to leave. They also assured him that he would get a written letter as well, but Lindenthal has not received it yet.