Bangladesh student told to leave in 15 days for ‘anti-govt’ activities
A first-year Bangladeshi undergraduate student at Visva-Bharati (VB) University in West Bengal has been asked to leave India within 15 days for engaging in “anti-government” activities.
Attempts to reach the student, Afsara Anika Meem, 20, were unsuccessful as her phone remained switched off throughout Thursday.
Somnath Sou, a leader of VB Students’ Unity Forum, said Meem had posted photos of a protest rally against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) that they had taken out. “All our sympathies are with her. She did not take part in any of the protests,” he said. Sou said Meem deactivated her social media accounts after she was trolled for posting the photos. The university authorities handed over an eviction notice dated February 14 to Meem, a designing student at the fine arts department of the Central varsity, on Wednesday, a faculty member said on condition of anonymity.
VB University spokesman, Anirban Sircar, did not respond to questions regarding the notice sent via SMS and WhatsApp.
One of Meem’s classmates said, requesting anonymity, that the notice had been emailed to her on February 14 and again on February 20. But Meem claimed she had not opened her email and therefore missed the notices until a hard copy of it was handed over to her at the varsity on Wednesday, the classmate added.
“She is found to have engaged in anti-government activities and, such activity being a breach of her visa, has thus committed visa violation… the above-mentioned foreigner [Meem] shall not remain in India and shall depart from India within fifteen days of receipt of this order,” Karma Tshering Bhutia of the Foreigners’ Regional Registration Office (Kolkata) said in the notice.
The FRRO regulates the registration, movement, and stay of foreign nationals in India.
Jakob Lindenthal, a 24-year-old German exchange student pursuing a master’s degree in physics, was earlier in December ordered to leave the country after he took part in protests against the CAA in Chennai. Janne Mette-Johannson, a Norwegian woman, was also asked to leave the country after she participated in an anti-CAA protest in Kerala in December. She had been in India on a tourist visa.
The CAA was passed in December to fast-track the citizenship process for non-Muslims, who have entered India from Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Bangladesh before 2015.