DHAKA: The Indian government asked a Bangladeshi studying at Visva-Bharati to leave India for allegedly participating in “anti-government activities”.
Afsara Anika Meem, a first-year undergraduate student at the central varsity’s Kala Bhavan, had been trolled on social media after she had posted pictures during the anti-CAA protest.
The girl from Kustia in Bangladesh had come to India in late 2018 to pursue her Bachelor of Design degree at the department of fine arts.
In December, students and a section of varsity teachers had taken out several rallies on the campus against the Citizenship Amendment Act.
The leave-India letter dated February 14 was issued to Afsara by the Foreigners’ Regional Registration Office of the ministry of home affairs.
“Whereas Afsara Anika Meem, holder of Bangladesh passport …Is present in India on the strength of S-1 (student) visa bearing…studying a course on Bachelor of Design at Visva-Bharati University, West Bengal. And whereas 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 notice reads.
There are two orders mentioned in the letter (which is in the possession of The Telegraph) that asks her to leave the country within 15 days of the receipt of the notice.
“If foreign students cannot protest or comment on a movement by their friends, my questions, whether we are living in a democratic country?” asked a student of Visva-Bharati.
The 20-year-old Afsara received the “leave-India” notice on Wednesday and sounded distraught about the uncertainty she faces over her education.
“I am still unable to understand what wrong I have committed to face such a punishment. I posted a few photographs out of curiosity as many of my friends had participated in the protest rally. But when I found that a particular group of people was trolling me on social media, I immediately deactivated my Facebook account. I am really innocent,” said Afsara.
“When I received the letter from the department today, a dark sense of grave loss gripped me. I came India to study at Visva-Bharati as I dream to be an artist. I don’t know what will happen to me now,” the student added.
Source: International Media
BDST: 1449 HRS, FEB 27, 2020