KOCHI: A Norwegian tourist was on Friday asked to leave India after she was found violating the tourist visa rules by participating in a protest held in Kochi on Monday against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).
Officials with Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO) said 71-year-old Norwegian woman identified as Janne-Mette Johansson was briefed about her visa rule violations, which was an offence, and she agreed to leave the country on her own.
"We asked her to leave as she violated the tourist visa norms by participating in the protests. People coming in tourist visa are not allowed to participate in any protest, speak in public forums or do any business in the country. She agreed to leave when we raised the issue to her," said an officer.
Officials also dismissed the rumours that they took her into custody for questioning in connection with the incident. "We only conducted a briefing with her on Friday morning," the officers said.
Meanwhile, the woman wrote on Facebook that she was told by officials that she wouldn't get any explanation in writing.
She wrote, "A couple of hours back the Bureau of Immigration showed up at my 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 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. Now pretty soon on my way to the airport. A friend fixing a flight ticket to Dubai and from there catching a flight back home to Sweden."
The activities of the foreign woman came under the scanner after she posted on Facebook on December 23 that she had participated in the protest against CAA.
She posted on Facebook that she had participated in the "People's Long March" in Kochi. "No riots, just people determined..lifting up their voices, saying what has to be said. The police helpful during this protest march," the post said.
Intelligence officers said any tourist found violating visa norms will be asked to leave the country and we have been doing it on a regular basis.
"The particular woman's issue was blown out of proportion because a few people with vested interests want to relate it to the incident in which a German exchange student of Indian Institute of Technology-Madras (IIT) who deported back to his country for participating in the protests against CAA," the officers said.