Priya Pillai can't testify abroad against India's policy

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New Delhi, Feb 12: The Government of India has been relatively quiet over the offloading incident involving one Priya Pillai of an NGO called Greenpeace.

The government has decided that it would let the affidavit before the Delhi High Court do the talking. While her look out circular would be quoted the main point of argument before the court would be that she was to testify against India's economic policy and agenda in the United Kingdom.

Priya's Greenpeace against Indian policy

Only specific to Greenpeace sponsored travel:

The Government of India will make it clear that there is no bar on her travelling abroad. There is no such restriction, but if the tickets are sponsored by Greenpeace, then she would be offloaded again.

Greenpeace has been marked by the Intelligence Bureau, which in a report had stated that the foreign-funded NGO was working contrary to the economic interests of India.

When Priya Pillai was to board a flight to the UK to address British Parliamentarians, she was offloaded on the ground that there was a look out circular against her.

The debate:

While Priya Pillai had argued that the offloading was bad in law, the authorities made it extremely clear that there was a look out circular against her. The Home Ministry had amended the rules last year where it empowered the IB to issue a look out circular against persons who it felt was working against national interest.

As a result of these new rules the IB could issue an LOC without having to seek permission from the Home Ministry. In the Priya Pillai case, the IB had issued the LOC. Priya Pillai has now approached the court seeking an explanation regarding the incident. While the Delhi High Court orally observed the action as inappropriate the Union Government would states in its affidavit that the action were well within the law.

What is the government stand?

A senior official, part of the team, preparing the affidavit told OneIndia News that the government would argue that the ticket was sponsored by Greenpeace. Her visit was against the economic interests of India and she was on her to the UK to speak against the Mahan Coal Project in Madhya Pradesh.

Her intention was to speak to the British MPs against this coal project. The government feels that none should speak about the developmental projects of India in a foreign country.

There appears to be some kind of motive. Priya Pillai was going on a sponsored ticket by Greenpeace to speak against a project in India, an officer pointed out.

The government of India would maintain that it would not allow NGO's sponsoring people to go abroad and speak against the projects in India. India is a democracy and issues can be addressed in various other forums. Complaining to foreigners is not the option, an IB official informed.

OneIndia News

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