Two days after a German student was forced to leave the country for participating in an anti-citizenship act protest in Chennai, a Norwegian tourist in Kochi in Kerala may face a similar fate.
On Thursday, Foreign Regional Registration Office (FRRO) in Kochi summoned 74-year-old Janne Mette-Johannson, who arrived from Norway on a tourist visa two months ago, and questioned her about being present in an anti-CAA protest in the port city last Monday. Johannson, a regular visitor to India since 2014, said her visa is valid till March 2020.
Later, FRRO official Anoop Krishnan confirmed that she was questioned about her participation in the protest. “We are examining whether she intentionally participated in the protest or joined them for just fun or out of curiosity. If it is intentional it is violation of visa norms and she may face action,” he said. But the official said her case can’t be compared with German student of the IIT-Chennai, Jakob Lindenthal, who was deported for taking part in the protest on the campus.
On Monday, Johannson had taken part in a rally against CAA which was attended by many writers, film personalities and rights activists. After the rally she posted a photo and wrote that the rally was well-organised and peaceful. “No riots, just people determined, lifting up their voices. Police were really helpful during this protest march,” said her post. On Christmas Day, she had also attended a morning mass at a church in Kochi.
During questioning, Johannson reportedly said she had approached a local police station in Kochi and told about her intention to participate in the rally and they verbally gave her the go-ahead. She later told a regional newspaper that “questioning session was really time-consuming and belittling”.
The incident came to light after some of her friends in Lucknow and Delhi alerted newsmen in Kochi.