Visva Bharati Teachers, Students Assure Legal Help to Bangladeshi Student Asked to Leave India
Visva Bharati University
A section of teachers and some students at Visva Bharati University have assured legal help to the Bangladeshi student, who was asked to leave the country for engaging in "anti-government activities".
Afsara Anika Meem, an undergraduate student at the central university, was served a 'Leave India Notice' by the Foreigners' Regional Registration Office, Kolkata – under the Ministry of Home Affairs.
A Calcutta High Court lawyer told PTI on Friday, February 28, that Meem's friends have approached him for taking up her case. "I had a conversation with Meem on Thursday, after some of her friends called me up and handed over the phone to her. But, nothing has been finalised yet. It is her decision," he said.
A leader of the Students' Federation of India (SFI) said two "leading" lawyers of the high court have agreed to take up the case of the student, who has been subjected to "gross injustice".
Meem could not be contacted for comments.
The Bangladeshi student had told PTI on Thursday in a WhatsApp message that, "I am not in a state to talk about this now".
The student, who hails from Kustia district of Bangladesh, was enrolled in the Bachelor of Design course at the varsity in 2018. She received the notice dated February 14 on Wednesday, one of her friends said. The notice had asked her to leave India within 15 days from the date of its receipt, but did not specify the nature of the "anti-India activities".
Meem had allegedly shared some posts on Facebook related to anti-CAA protests inside the campus in December, and has been trolled on social media since then, an SFI member had earlier said.
"... 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," the notice said.
The SFI also alleged that the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) had lodged a complaint against the undergraduate student.
The ABVP, however, has dismissed the charges.
"We have always maintained that foreign nationals studying in India should not interfere into the affairs of this country. But, we have never singled out Meem," Shyamasree Karmakar of the ABVP said.
A teacher at the varsity termed the move "draconian" and said it is an attempt to gag "any dissenting voice".
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