Kochi: Norwegian tourist questioned by foreign office for participating in CAA protest

On Monday, Janne Mette-Johannson, a tourist from Norway, had taken part in a march against the Citizenship Act in Kochi where hundreds of people including writers, film producers, actors and directors were also present.

Days after a German student from the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras (IIT-Madras) was made to leave the country by the immigration department after attending an anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protest, a Norwegian tourist in Kochi now maybe next in line to face a similar fate.

On Thursday, Janne Mette-Johannson, a tourist from Norway, who arrived in India in October this year, was summoned to the Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO) in Kochi and asked about her involvement in an anti-CAA protest march in the city on Monday. The Norwegian woman is visiting Kochi on a tourist visa.

The FRRO is an office exclusively for the services of foreign tourists in the country.

The FRRO, under the Union Home Ministry, is investigating the matter after it came to know through the social media that the Norwegian woman allegedly participated in the protest against Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) on December 23, an official said.

“We are investigating whether the foreigner has violated Visa norms or not”, FRRO officer Anoop Krishnan told PTI when asked about reports that Janne-Mette Johansson was summoned to the FRRO office for questioning.

“We can’t say a concrete action is taken into it. An inquiry is on”, he added.
On Monday, Janne Mette-Johannson had taken part in a march against the Citizenship Act in Kochi where hundreds of people including writers, film producers, actors and directors were also present.

Janne Mette-Johannson took to Facebook to post photographs from the protest and wrote: “It started out from Gandhi Circle, Ernakulam and we marched with slogans and flags to Vasco Da Gama Square Cochin while the protesters were singing and chanting and with their fists up. The People’s Long March was very well organized”.

“During these 12 kms, there were two places we got water with salt and sugar, we also had orange juice. No riots, just people determined, lifting up their voices, saying what has to be said. The police were helpful during this protest march (sic),” her Facebook post further read.

The 74-year-old Norwegian tourist has been a regular visitor of India since 2014, and came this time in October. Her visa is valid till March, 2020.

#UnitedNotAlone#BoycottNRC#RejectCAAThis afternoon I participated in a protest march ; People’s Long March.It started…

Posted by Janne-Mette Johansson on Monday, December 23, 2019

In her Facebook post from Friday Janne Mette-Johannson said: “I will not be posting more on FB during my travelling in beautiful India.I thank you all for having followed me on my journey.But now a time to be private.I also want you all to know that I am alright.Still in Cochin,but when I know the time is right for me,I will be on my way to Delhi.Just informing you so you don’t worry.I thank you all,goodbye my friends!”

To my friends #HereThereAndEverywhereI will not be posting more on FB during my travelling in beautiful India.I thank…

Posted by Janne-Mette Johansson on Thursday, December 26, 2019

German student sent back

On Monday, Jakob Lindenthal, a German student from IIT Madras was made to leave country by immigration department for attending an anti-CAA protest.

Jakob Lindenthal, after being made to leave, had put up a Facebook post stating that he has reached his home safely and expressed gratitude towards those who stood by him.

Jacob was studying in the Physics Department of IIT Madras as a student on exchange programme. His expulsion and deportation drew ire of citizens who expressed their anger on social media. Congress leader P. Chidamabaram and Shashi Tharoor had also criticised his expulsion and deportation on their twitter handles.

His Facebook post read,

“This morning I landed in Amsterdam safely and will return to my family in Nuremberg soon. Thank you all for the huge solidarity that you showed! Thank you for your messages, the legal advice and the shelter I was given when my flight out of India was delayed by one day. I will take some days to arrive at home and find out where the road leads.

These events are not so much about me but show that political freedom and the rule of law need the support of millions of open eyes and loud voices. My deep respect goes to all of you who carry the protests against CAA and NRC across India and across the world! I also want to bow down in front of those who cannot show their concern about ongoing political developments openly because their existences would be threatened but who still find their ways to support those who are showing their faces.

Even though the protests happen for very concerning reasons I hope that they will bring together people who want a change for the better, for true representation, freedom of expression and civil rights. I will find a way to be with you. Be in touch and take care. “

Source: India Today

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