Skip to main content

Greenpeace campaigner barred from going abroad, her passport "offloaded" on orders from India govt

Priya Pillai during a campaign in Delhi 
By Our Representative
Priya Pillai, senior campaigner with top international environmental body Greenpeace's India branch, was stopped at New Delhi airport this morning by the immigration office and denied to get onboard her flight to London. Pillai was stopped at immigration and her passport was stamped with ‘offloaded’. Calling it “yet another attempt to muzzle Greenpeace India”, the top NGO said, “This is a clear and blatant violation of her rights, especially because she has a valid business visa to visit London.”
The incident took place, ironically, when UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon validated Prime Minister Narendra Modi's to usher in a new era of environmental friendly technology for producing power through solar energy. Ki-moon inaugurated Narmada-canal top solar power project in Gujarat after his keynote address at the Vibrant Gujarat summit in Gandhinagar.
British MPs had invited Pillai to talk about people-powered movements with the local communities in Mahan, Madhya Pradesh. “A proposed coal mining project led by Essar, a London-based company threatens to uproot the lives and livelihoods of the forest and the community which lives there”, Greenpeace said in its statement.
Pillai was scheduled to address British Parliamentarians on the rights of forest communities being infringed for coal mining in India. “Has working for the most marginalised people in the country become an offence in India?” Pillai was quoted as saying.
Pillai was informed by the airport authorities that she is now “banned from leaving India, even though she has no criminal convictions against her”, Greenpeace said, adding, “The immigration officials told her they are not opposed to her travelling, but they are just following orders from the Indian government.”
The statement contended, “It appears working for grassroots movements in India has been met with unwanted and shocking consequences. This is the second time a Greenpeace employee has been denied a go ahead by the Indian airport authorities in spite of having a valid visa. In September last year, Greenpeace campaigner, Ben Hargreaves – a UK national - was refused entry to India, despite having a valid visa.”
Greenpeace India’s Executive Director,Samit Aich said, “The government’s intentions are clear- they are trying to intimidate and bully Greenpeace and its employees. We will not shy away from asking tough questions to the highest authorities. Such systematic excesses by the government are a shame and cause of worry for the Indian civil society.”
He added, “At a time when the whole world is making a strong pitch to safeguard freedom of speech and democratic rights, this action by the world’s largest democracy is problematic”.
Greenpeace India has written to the Ministry of Home and External Affairs and to the Airport Authority of India following this arbitrary action of stopping its employees in spite of having the appropriate paper work. Greenpeace is asking the government to explain the legal basis for the ban on Pillai leaving the country.
Last year the Ministry of Home Affairs had directed the freezing of Greenpeace India’s foreign funds. Greenpeace India has challenged this in the Delhi High Court and the next hearing is on January 20. “It is appalling that in the world’s largest democracy, a people powered, independently funded non-profit organisation like Greenpeace India has been at the receiving end unwanted actions”, Greenpeace said.

Comments

Unknown said…
Good job by Indian Govt to stop these anti-national NGO beggars.

She is more sad for not able to enjoy a trip to London.

TRENDING

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

By Our Representative
Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book, "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

RSS' 25,000 Shishu Mandirs 'follow' factory school model of Christian missionaries

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*
The executive committee of the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences (IUAES) recently decided to drop the KISS University in Odisha as the co-host of the World Anthropology Congress-2023. The decision is driven by the argument that KISS University is a factory school.

India must recognise: 4,085 km Himalayan borders are with Tibet, not China

By Tenzin Tsundue, Sandeep Pandey*
There has as been a cancerous wound around India’s Himalayan neck ever since India's humiliating defeat during the Chinese invasion of India in 1962. The recent Galwan Valley massacre has only added salt to the wound. It has come to this because, when China invaded the neighbouring country Tibet in 1950, India was in high romance with the newly-established communist regime under Mao Zedong after a bloody revolution.

August 22 to be observed as Apostasy Day: International coalition of ex-Muslim groups

By Our Representative
In a unique move, an international coalition of ex-Muslim organisations has decided to observe August 22, 2020 as the Apostasy Day. To be observed for “the abandonment or renunciation of religion”, the coalition, calling upon people to join the call, said, the decision to observe the Apostasy Day has been taken because of apostasy is “punishable by death in Afghanistan, Iran, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritania, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, UAE, and Yemen.”

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur*
Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Time to give Covid burial, not suspend, World Bank's 'flawed' Doing Business ranking

By Maju Varghese*
On August 27, the World Bank came out with a statement suspending the Doing Business Report. The statement said that a number of irregularities have been reported regarding changes to the data in the Doing Business 2018 and Doing Business 2020 reports, published in October 2017 and 2019. The changes in the data were inconsistent with the Doing Business methodology.

Delhi riots: Cops summoning, grilling, intimidating young to give 'false' evidence

Counterview Desk
More than 440 concerned citizens have supported the statement issued by well-known bureaucrat-turned-human rights activist Harsh Mander ‘We will not be silenced’ which said that the communal riots in Delhi in February 2020 have not been caused by any conspiracy, as alleged by the Delhi Police, but by “hate speech and provocative statements made by a number of political leaders of the ruling party.”

WHO chief ignores India, cites Pak as one of 7 top examples in fight against Covid-19

By Our Representative
In a move that would cause consternation in India’s top policy makers in the Modi government, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, World Health Organization (WHO) director-general, has singled out Pakistan among seven countries that have set “examples” in investing in a healthier and safer future in order to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.

Tata Mundra: NGOs worry as US court rules World Bank can't be sued for 'damages'

By Kate Fried, Mir Jalal*
On August 24 evening, a federal court ruled that the World Bank Group cannot be sued for any damage caused by its lending, despite last year’s Supreme Court ruling in the same case that these institutions can be sued for their “commercial activity” in the United States.