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Jacob Lindenthal, a German post-graduate student of physics at the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras (IIT Madras), was asked to leave India by the immigration department after he participated in an anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protest, last week. The officers in Chennai stated that by participating in the protests, he had violated the visa rules.

Reportedly, he had carried a poster that referred to the Nazi rule in his own country: “1933 to 1945 – we have been there.” He also held a poster with the slogan ‘Uniformed criminals = criminals.’

The German student stated that “There were administration issues with my visa. After ruling these out, I was extensively questioned by the immigration officer about my political opinions. Later they told me to leave India.”

On asked about his alleged participation in the protests, the student claimed that “I just accompanied my friends. I didn’t raise any opinion or opposition. Since Section 144 was not imposed, I just went with friends to Chepauk and Valluvar Kottam.”

“Jakob was called by his co-ordinator at IIT and he was told that there was an issue with his residence permit and he had to go to the immigration department. Later, he told us that an officer spoke to him about the permit and then casually asked what his opinion was on the anti-CAA protest. When Jakob made his opposition clear, the officer told him that he disagreed. Jakob was asked to wait outside. He was called back and told to leave India immediately,” informed a friend of the German student.

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