tirsdag 29. mars 2022

Filippo Osella: The UK academic who was deported from Kerala

In the early hours of 24 March, Filippo Osella flew into India's southern city of Trivandrum from London on a routine research trip to India. Prof Osella, an anthropologist at the University of Sussex, had been visiting India on work for more than 30 years.

The South Asian specialist had spent much of that time in the state of Kerala, of which Trivandrum is the capital. This time Prof Osella was to mainly attend a two-day meeting on the seafaring communities of the state. He and local meteorological scientists had been developing early warning weather forecasts to secure the lives of millions of fishermen. But this time a rude shock awaited him.

Minutes after the plane landed, the 65-year-old was whisked away to immigration. There, officials took his photograph and fingerprints and told him that he would be deported back to the UK immediately - a highly unusual fate for a respected academic whose research is partly funded by the UK government.