Kerala CM writes to PM Modi to look into deportation of UK anthropologist

Filippo Osella, an anthropologist and academician from the UK, was deported when he arrived in Kerala to attend a seminar

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Wednesday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting him to look into the "distressful" deportation of Filippo Osella, an anthropologist and academician from the UK, when he arrived in the southern state for a seminar.

Vijayan, in his letter, has requested the Prime Minister to "kindly look into this matter with the seriousness it deserves and issue instructions to prevent recurrence of such incidents in future".

Osella, Professor of Anthropology and South Asian Studies at the University of Sussex in the United Kingdom (UK), had arrived in Kerala on March 24 to attend a seminar at the Cochin University of Science and Technology (CUSAT).

However, he was deported on arrival at the Thiruvananthapuram airport.

"It is distressful that a reputed scholar like Prof. Osella had to face deportation at the Thiruvananthapuram airport when he arrived for participating in a seminar in Kochi," the CM said in his letter.

He further said the professor has conducted extensive research work in many places including in Kerala, where he is researching traditional fishing activities.

Vijayan said, in his letter, that India "has a rich tradition of welcoming foreign scholars and social scientists" for research purposes here and they have produced "valuable" publications. "We need to continue this tradition of being friendly and welcoming to scholars," he said.

Osella's recent research examines contemporary transformation of South Indian Muslims with field-work in Kozhikode and in a number of Gulf countries.

His new research, funded by the Sussex Sustainability Research Programme, explores new ways to make traditional fishing in Kerala safer and sustainable by co-producing knowledge on marine weather and fish resources with traditional fishermen and weather forecasters.

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