Why was this Greenpeace activist "offloaded"?

Written by: Vicky Nanjappa
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New Delhi, Jan 12: There has been quite a debate after a senior Greenpeace India activist was off loaded at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi on Sunday. Priya Pillai the senior activist with the environmental NGO was prevented from flying to London despite having a valid visa and her passport was stamped "offloaded."

Why was this Greenpeace activist

Although the Home Ministry has not said anything on this, it appears as though the government of India is taking very seriously the Intelligence Bureau report on NGO's in which it had termed Greenpeace a threat to national economic security.

The IB report had cited activities which involved protests against nuclear and coal plants in a bid to disturb the economic balance in India.

Meeting not appropriate:

According to officials in the Intelligence Bureau, Priya Pillai's travel to London was not seen as appropriate. Greenpeace has been on our radar ever since we found that several NGO's had stage managed protests against developmental projects which had caused a loss to the GDP of India.

There was a look out circular issued against Pillai due to her association with Greenpeace and we did not find her programme in London as appropriate, the IB official also informed. The talk she was to give in London was about a campaign by a blacklisted organization, the officer also pointed out.

No taking chances:

The Intelligence Bureau says that the Home Ministry has taken their report on NGO's seriously. There is a serious threat to economic security of India and we felt that preventive measures ought to be taken.

The Greenpeace has been accused by the Intelligence Bureau of trying to contravening laws in an attempt to change the dynamics of India's energy mix.

Greenpeace has helped carry out anti nuclear agitations in the past and intends to take on India's IT sector over e-waste in the future.

Greenpeace was seen as a primary NGO threatening to shake up India's economic security as it had a great deal of reach.

Actively aided by foreign funding:

Further the IB report had also accused Greenpeace of aiding the foreign activists visiting India. They were also accused of violating the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act of 2010 (FCRA).

A crackdown according to Greenpeace:

Greenpeace has reacted sharply to this incident and has termed it as a crackdown on the voice of dissent. This is the second time that an employee of Greenpeace is being denied a go-ahead by Indian authorities at the airport.

Greenpeace has sought a legal explanation from the Home Ministry as to why it prevented Priya Pillai from leaving the country especially when she had a valid Business visa.

Home Ministry has Greenpeace under the scanner:

Officials say that they want to take no chances and when organizations are under the scanner for anti national activities, preventive steps ought to be taken.

We had already directed the RBI to stop flow of funds to some NGO's. Greenpeace too is under the scanner and we had told them to take permission before getting in any foreign funds.

The IB says when there are such directives it is only fair to take a preventive measure and we felt that the programme she was going to address was not appropriate.

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