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

Vaccine nationalism? Covaxin isn't safe either, perhaps it's worse: Experts

By Rajiv Shah  I was a little awestruck: The news had already spread that Astrazeneca – whose Indian variant Covishield was delivered to nearly 80% of Indian vaccine recipients during the Covid-19 era – has been withdrawn by the manufacturers following the admission by its UK pharma giant that its Covid-19 vector-based vaccine in “rare” instances cause TTS, or “thrombocytopenia thrombosis syndrome”, which lead to the blood to clump and form clots. The vaccine reportedly led to at least 81 deaths in the UK.

'Scientifically flawed': 22 examples of the failure of vaccine passports

By Vratesh Srivastava*   Vaccine passports were introduced in late 2021 in a number of places across the world, with the primary objective of curtailing community spread and inducing "vaccine hesitant" people to get vaccinated, ostensibly to ensure herd immunity. The case for vaccine passports was scientifically flawed and ethically questionable.

'Misleading' ads: Are our celebrities and public figures acting responsibly?

By Deepika* It is imperative for celebrities and public figures to act responsibly while endorsing a consumer product, the Supreme Court said as it recently clamped down on misleading advertisements.

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. 

Magnetic, stunning, Protima Bedi 'exposed' malice of sexual repression in society

By Harsh Thakor*  Protima Bedi was born to a baniya businessman and a Bengali mother as Protima Gupta in Delhi in 1949. Her father was a small-time trader, who was thrown out of his family for marrying a dark Bengali women. The theme of her early life was to rebel against traditional bondage. It was extraordinary how Protima underwent a metamorphosis from a conventional convent-educated girl into a freak. On October 12th was her 75th birthday; earlier this year, on August 18th it was her 25th death anniversary.

Mired in controversy, India's polio jab programme 'led to suffering, misery'

By Vratesh Srivastava*  Following the 1988 World Health Assembly declaration to eradicate polio by the year 2000, to which India was a signatory, India ran intensive pulse polio immunization campaigns since 1995. After 19 years, in 2014, polio was declared officially eradicated in India. India was formally acknowledged by WHO as being free of polio.

In defence of Sam Pitroda: Is calling someone look like African, black racist?

By Rajiv Shah  Sam Pitroda, known as the father of Indian telecom revolution, has been in the midst of a major controversy for a remark on how Indians across the regions look different. While one can understand Prime Minister Narendra Modi taking it up for his electoral gain, suggesting it showed the racist Congress mindset, what was unpalatable to me was Congress leaders – particularly Jairam Ramesh, known for his deep intellectual understand – distancing themselves from what Pitroda had said.

Palm oil industry 'deceptively using' geenwashing to market products

By Athena*  Corporate hypocrisy is a masterclass in manipulation that mostly remains undetected by consumers and citizens. Companies often boast about their environmental and social responsibilities. Yet their actions betray these promises, creating a chasm between their public image and the grim on-the-ground reality. This duplicity and severely erodes public trust and undermines the strong foundations of our society.

'Fake encounter': 12 Adivasis killed being dubbed Maoists, says FACAM

Counterview Desk   The civil rights network* Forum Against Corporatization and Militarization (FACAM), even as condemn what it has called "fake encounter" of 12 Adivasi villagers in Gangaloor, has taken strong exception to they being presented by the authorities as Maoists.

No compensation to family, reluctance to file FIR: Manual scavengers' death

By Arun Khote, Sanjeev Kumar*  Recently, there have been four instances of horrifying deaths of sewer/septic tank workers in Uttar Pradesh. On 2 May, 2024, Shobran Yadav, 56, and his son Sushil Yadav, 28, died from suffocation while cleaning a sewer line in Lucknow’s Wazirganj area. In another incident on 3 May 2024, two workers Nooni Mandal, 36 and Kokan Mandal aka Tapan Mandal, 40 were killed while cleaning the septic tank in a house in Noida, Sector 26. The two workers were residents of Malda district of West Bengal and lived in the slum area of Noida Sector 9.