Anthropologist Filippo Osella Deported After Arriving at Kerala Airport; No Reasons Cited. The UK academic, was to attend a conference in India on Friday.
(Read the story on The Wire)
New Delhi: Filippo Osella, a well-known anthropologist and sociologist, who arrived at Thiruvananthapuram international airport from the UK on Thursday, March 24, morning to attend a conference in the city was deported to his home country with authorities specifying no particular reason for the same, Indian Express has reported.
Osella, who has carried out extensive research on social and cultural transformations in Kerala over the last 30 years, was touted as the face of the conference to be held on Friday in the city on “emerging themes connected to the livelihood and lifeworld of Kerala coastal communities”.
When asked about Osella’s deportation, an immigration officer at the Foreigners Regional Registration Officers (FRROs) in Thiruvananthapuram airport said the reason for his deportation cannot be revealed.
“He was denied entry as per the orders from higher officials. No reason can be revealed,” the officer said.
According to Osella, he was told to contact flight assistants when he reached Thiruvananthapuram airport on an Emirates flight on Thursday morning. He was then led to a person who was waiting for him outside.
“I was taken to the immigration desks, and processed as it is normally done. But after they scanned my passport, took my photo and fingerprints, they told me that I was not allowed to enter India, and that I would be deported immediately,” said Osella. “Indeed, the decision had already been taken prior to my arrival, as an Emirates employee was already there to arrange my deportation via Dubai flight.”
When asked if he was given any reason for his deportation, Osella said, “The immigration personnel and the immigration supervisor were extremely unfriendly and impolite. They refused to explain why I was not allowed in, and deported. Only said that it was ‘a government of India decision/order’.”
The conference, which is scheduled from Friday to Sunday, covers various aspects pertaining to coastal communities in Kerala. It is jointly organised by Cochin University of Science and Technology (CUSAT), Centre for Development Studies (CDS Thiruvananthapuram), Inter University Center for Alternative Economics, University of Kerala, and the University of Sussex.
The organisers of the conference too were surprised by the news of Osella’s deportation, wondering what could be the reason behind such move, and pointed out that there wasn’t any “politically sensitive” topic drafted for the conference.
“Neither the conference nor the organisers had anything politically sensitive as it is jointly organised with government agencies, universities and some of the top academics specialised in the area,” said one of the organisers.