Sledgehammer act


It is a matter of great national shame that Jakob Lindenthal, 24, a German student pursuing his post-graduation at IIT Madras, was summarily asked to leave the country by Immigration Bureau officials for ‘having committed the sin of participating in protests’ in Chennai against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019, violating his visa conditions. It is even more ironical that a German student should have been subjected to such a harsh treatment. After all, IIT Madras, founded in 1959 during the premiership of Jawaharlal Nehru, owes its very existence to technical and financial assistance from the former government of West Germany — the largest educational project sponsored by West Germany outside that country.

His act in no way had the potential of even remotely causing any prejudice to our national interest. Yet, if indeed there was violation of a visa condition, his apology should have been gracefully accepted and he should have been let off with a warning. Such disproportionate and a highly insensitive action betrays a sense of paranoia. Will the Prime Minister’s Office intervene to undo this gross miscarriage of justice to a young student from a friendly nation?

S.K. Choudhury,


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Printable version | Jan 23, 2020 11:12:23 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/letters/sledgehammer-act/article30398524.ece

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