A Norwegian woman visiting Kochi as a tourist has run into trouble after the Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO) authorities asked her to immediately leave the country after it emerged that she had participated in a protest march against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) held in the city earlier this week.
Janne-Mette Johansson, a Norwegian citizen settled in Sweden, is expected to leave by Friday night after Immigration authorities landed at the doorsteps of her hotel room at Fort Kochi. Participating in the People’s Long March held in the city on December 23 has now forced her to cut short her stay here.
In a Facebook post nearly few hours before, Ms. Johansson said that the Bureau of Immigration showed up at her hotel again. “I was told to leave the country at once, or legal actions would be taken. I asked for an explanation and also something in writing. I was told that I would not get anything in writing. The officer from the Bureau is not leaving me before he can see that I have a flight ticket,” the post read.
The post further said that she would be on her way to the airport soon, as a friend was trying to fix a ticket to Dubai from where she plans to catch a flight back home to Sweden.
“It was a clear violation of the visa conditions. She cannot take part in any political activity while being here on tourist visa. She has been asked to leave the country immediately as per the Foreigners Act. No country in the world will let any foreign tourist to meddle in their affairs,” said a senior FRRO official.
Asked why the action comes almost four days after the protest march, the official said that the agency had been after her ever since social media posts emerged about her participation.
Ms. Johansson had made a Facebook post about her enthusiastic participation in the protest march with the hashtags #UnitedNotAlone, #BoycottNRC, and #RejectCAA. “This afternoon I participated in a protest march; People’s Long March. It started out from Gandhi Circle Ernakulam, and we marched with slogans amd flags to Vasco da Gama Square Cochin, while the protestors were singing and chanting with their fists up. The People’s Long March was well organised…No riots, just people determined…lifting up their voices, saying what has to be said. The police helpful during this protest march,” her Facebook post on December 23 read.