Greenpeace campaigner seeks explanation from Home Ministry

New Delhi, Jan 12: A day after being stopped from boarding a London flight by Indian immigration officials, Greenpeace campaigner Priya Pillai on Monday shot off a letter to the Home Ministry seeking an explanation for forbidding her from leaving the country.

"It is bizarre that the government chooses to inform the media about an alleged lookout circular against me which I have no knowledge of. "I have been dedicatedly working for the rights of the most marginalised communities in the country and protecting the environment. Does this lead to issuing of a circular that is meant for offenders?" she said in a statement issued by Greenpeace India.

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Pillai, a senior campaigner for Greenpeace India, was on Sunday stopped from boarding a flight to London by immigration officials prompting the environment NGO to accuse the government of intimidation, but officials said she was barred from leaving the country due to a look-out circular against her.

[Why was this Greenpeace activist "offloaded"?]

Today's letter comes after Greenpeace on Sunday also wrote to Home and External Affairs Ministry as well as Airport Authority of India (AAI) following the incident.

Greenpeace India said that they are "still to hear from any of the authorities". "Pillai has demanded explanation from the Ministry as to the reason for forbidding her from leaving India because of a lookout circular against her as reported by the media," the Greenpeace India statement said.

A "lookout circular" is generally issued against criminals barred from leaving the country because they might abscond but Pillai has no criminal convictions and was travelling to London to make a speech to British MPs, the statement said.

Pillai was scheduled to address British Parliamentarians on January 14 on the rights of forest communities being infringed for coal mining in India by a London-based energy company.


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