Janne-Mette Johansson, a 71-year old Norwegian woman, said she had a ‘bad and belittling interrogation’ session.

Norwegian woman interrogated for taking part in anti-CAA protest in KochiPC/Janne-Mette Johansson FB Page
news CAA Friday, December 27, 2019 - 10:02

Janne-Mette Johansson, a Norwegian citizen, was interrogated for taking part in the People’s Long March, a protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in Kochi on December 23. This was the 71-year-old’s fifth visit to India.  

The Long March was organised in Kochi and saw scores participate, with people belonging to all walks of life come out onto the street.

Three days after the protest, on Thursday, December 26 morning, immigration officials visited Janne-Mette at her hotel in Fort Kochi. She was the summoned to the Cochin International Airport for the interrogation, with authorities seeking explanation over her participation in the protest.

She told Times of India that she was kept waiting at the airport for hours and after she met officials of the Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO), she had to go through a "bad and belittling interrogation” session which she said was very depressing.  She was, however, let go with a warning and ordered to remain in Kochi until the time officials took a decision on the matter. Her visa expires is March.

Summoning of the woman was confirmed by Anoop Krishnan, the Foreigners Regional Registration Officer. The officer said that she was called for a brief meeting to the office in Nedumbassery.

PTI quoted Anoop Krishnan saying, "We are investigating whether the foreigner has violated visa norms or not. We can't say a concrete action is taken into it. An inquiry is on."

Janne-Mette had on December 23 posted pictures from the protest along with a status on Facebook, which read, “This afternoon I participated in a protest march; People’s Long March. 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. (sic)”

Early on Friday morning, Janne posted another Facebook message, stating she would not be sharing any updates on her travel in India. She also said she would be traveling to Delhi.  

“To my friends #HereThereAndEverywhere
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! (sic)” read her Facebook status.

She isn’t the first foreigner to be quizzed by officials for taking part in an anti-CAA protest. German national Jakob Lindenthal a post-graduate exchange student of Physics at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras was asked to leave by the Immigration Department on December 23 for taking part in protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act. Officials told the 24-year-old student that he violated his visa rules by taking part in the anti-CAA protests. Jakob, whose visa was valid until June 2020, took a flight to Germany on December 24.  

 Also Read: German student at IIT Madras asked to leave India for protesting against CAA

 
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