Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Wednesday asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to look into the deportation of renowned anthropologist Filippo Osella from Thiruvananthapuram airport.
“It is distressful that a reputed scholar like him had to face deportation,” Vijayan said in a letter.
On Thursday, Osella, who is recognised for his work on societies in South Asia, was asked to return to the United Kingdom from Thiruvananthapuram International Airport without citing any official reason.
Osella was in India to attend a seminar at the Cochin University of Science and Technology. He was supposed to be the keynote speaker at the conference on “emerging themes connected to the livelihood and lifeworld of Kerala’s coastal communities”.
Vijayan in his letter said that India has a rich tradition of welcoming foreign scholars and social scientists, who are drawn to conducting extensive field studies.
He added that India should be friendly to scholars like Osella, who have produced valuable research publications.
The chief minister urged Modi to look into the matter of his deportation with “seriousness” and issue directions to prevent the recurrence of such incidents in the future.
A day after his deportation, Osella issued a statement from his home in London, stating that the authorities wanted to “get rid of him as quickly and discreetly as possible”.
“The research visa stamped on my passport would have assured any immigration officer that my visit to India was legitimate and approved by the Government of India,” Osella said in a statement. “What would be the point of approving and issuing research visas, if the latter can be revoked at the drop of a hat, and without explanations?”