Janne-Mette Johansson, Norwegian citizen, has been asked to leave the country for taking part in a protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) in Kochi. Immigration officials stated that the a 71-year-old violated visa norms. Janne-Mette is the second foreign nation to be ordered to leave the country for participating in anti-CAA protests. German national Jakob Lindenthal a post-graduate exchange student at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras was asked to leave by the Immigration Department on December 23 for participating in an anti-CAA protest in Chennai.
The Foreigners Regional Registration Office in Kochi told TNM that she has been asked to leave the country. “Yes, she was summoned yesterday (Thursday) and has been asked to leave the country on finding that she has violated visa norms,” the officer said. However, the office didn’t divulge any other details like if she has been asked to leave the country immediately. Her visa is due to expire in March, according to reports. The Norwegian is on her fifth visit to India.
On December 23, Janne-Mette took part in the People’s Long March in Kochi opposing the Citizenship Amendment (Act). She had posted pictures from the protest on her Facebook page. “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,” she wrote on December 23.
On Thursday, the Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO) officials had summoned Janne-Mette to their office functioning at the Cochin International Airport building at Nedumbassery in Kochi. She was questioned at the FRRO.
Janne-Mette told Times of India that she was kept waiting at the airport for hours and described her interaction with officials as a "bad and belittling interrogation” session. Officials, however, had let her go with the warning but ordered her to remain in Kochi until a decision was taken on the matter of her stay.
Early on Friday morning, Janne posted on Facebook, stating she would not be sharing any updates on her travel in India.
“To my friends #
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.
The Long March in Kochi like similar protests across the state witnessed participation of people belonging to all walk of life.