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

'Very low rung in quality ladder': Critique of ICMR study on 'sudden deaths' post-2021

By Bhaskaran Raman*  Since about mid-2021, a new phenomenon of extreme concern has been observed throughout the world, including India : unexplained sudden deaths of seemingly healthy and active people, especially youngsters. In the recently concluded Navratri garba celebrations, an unprecedented number of young persons succumbed to heart attack deaths. After a long delay, ICMR (Indian Council for Medical Research) has finally has published a case-control study on sudden deaths among Indians of age 18-45.

SC 'appears to foster' culture of secrecy, does not seek electoral bond details from SBI

By Rosamma Thomas*  In its order of November 2, 2023 on the case of Association for Democratic Reforms vs Union of India contesting constitutional validity of electoral bonds, the Supreme Court directed all political parties to give particulars of the bonds received by them in sealed covers to the Election Commission of India. SC sought that information be updated until September 2023. 

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

Only 12% of schools RTE compliant: Whither 6% budgetary allocation for education?

By Ambarish Rai* Despite Indian state’s commitment of 6% GDP on education, the Finance Minister completely ignored right to education for children and strengthening implementation of RTE Act which makes education a fundamental right in her budget speech . The Right to Education (RTE) Forum, which is a collective of different stakeholders in education, condemns this neglect of a legal entitlement, which is unconstitutional and demand for overall increase in the budget to ensure improvement in learning outcomes and overall enhancement of quality education.

Savarkar in Ahmedabad 'declared' two-nation theory in 1937, Jinnah followed 3 years later

By Our Representative One of the top freedom fighters whom BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi revere the most, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, was also a great supporter of the two nation theory for India, one for Hindus another for Muslims, claims a new expose on the man who is also known to be the original proponent of the concept of Hindutva.

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.

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara 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".

Reject WHO's 'draconian' amendments on pandemic: Citizens to Union Health Minister

By Our Representative  Several concerned Indian citizens have written to the Union Health Minister to reject amendments to the International Health Regulations (IHR) of the World Health Organization (WHO) adopted during the 75th World Health Assembly (WHA75) in May 2022, apprehending this will make the signatories surrender their autonomy to the “unelected, unaccountable and the whimsical WHO in case of any future ‘pandemics’.”

'Ambiguous policy': India late in advocating EVs as energy storage in national grid

By Shankar Sharma*  This is regarding the points raised by the Chief Electricity Authority’s (CEA's) advocacy for usage of electrical vehicles (EVs) as energy storage technology, and few associated issues . An objective reading of what he states should reiterate the enormously growing importance of battery energy storage systems (BESS) in our need to transition to a net-zero carbon scenario for the country.

Union Health Ministry, FSSAI 'fail to respond' to NHRC directive on packaged food

By Our Representative  The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has expressed deep concern over the adverse health effects caused by packaged foods high in salt, sugar, and saturated fats. Recognizing it as a violation of the Right to Life and Right to Health of Indian citizens, the quasi-judicial body called for a response from the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) regarding its selection of front-of-pack labels aimed at providing consumers with information to make healthier choices.