Bangladeshi Student Who Posted Photos of CAA Protest Gets Notice to Leave India

Afsara Anika Meem, a student of Visva Bharati university, has been accused of engaging in "anti-government activities" and has been given 15 days' time to leave the country.

New Delhi: A Bangladeshi student of Visva Bharati University who shared posts on the anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) protests has been asked by the home ministry to leave the country, which accused her of engaging in “anti-government activities”.

Afsara Anika Meem, an undergraduate student at the central university, has been served a ‘Leave India Notice’ by the Foreigners’ Regional Registration Office, Kolkata, which comes under the Ministry of Home Affairs, according to news agency PTI.

The notice, which says Meem must leave India within 15 days from the date of its receipt, however, did not specify the nature of the “anti-government activities” she is accused of. She received the notice dated February 14 on Wednesday, one of her friends told PTI.

Meem is from the Kustia district of Bangladesh and enrolled in the Bachelor of Design course at the university in 2018.

Meem had allegedly shared some posts on Facebook related to the anti-CAA protests inside the campus in December. She has apparently been a victim of social media trolling since then, a member of the Students’ Federation of India (SFI) said.

The Bangladeshi student told PTI in a WhatsApp message, “I am not in a state to talk about this now”.

A Bangladesh deputy high commission source in Kolkata told the news agency that the office is yet to receive any official intimation in this regard.

Visva Bharati University authorities, too, could not be contacted for comments.

The notice said Meem also committed visa violation.

“… 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 foreigner shall not remain in India, shall depart from India within 15 days of receipt of this order,” it said.

A teacher at the varsity termed the move “draconian” and said it is an attempt to gag “any dissenting voice”.

According to the Indian Express, Meem on Thursday met Foreign Regional Registration Office (FRRO) officer Karma Tshering Bhutia to request him to review the decision.

This is not the first instance of a foreign student being asked to leave the country, allegedly for their participation in demonstrations against the CAA. In late December, a German student who participated in a protest against the CAA in Chennai was asked to leave India by the Bureau of Immigration officials.

Jakob Lindenthal, a student from the Technical University of Dresden on an exchange programme at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, was informed that he had been in violation of visa regulations.

(With PTI inputs)