‘Greenpeace would commit anti-national activities’
NEW DELHI, FEBRUAYR 6
Greenpeace activist Priya Pillai cannot be allowed to travel to London as she would indulge in anti-national activities there, government told the Delhi High Court today.
However, the court termed her not being allowed to visit London as inappropriate, saying the government has to draw a line to distinguish between “nationalism and jingoism”.Pillai, who was on January 11 offloaded from a flight to London at the IGI airport here, had sought permission again to visit the British capital to make a presentation before British MPs on alleged human rights violation at Mahan in Madhya Pradesh.
During the hearing, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Sanjay Jain, appearing for the Centre, informed Justice Rajiv Sakhdher that a Look Out Circular (LOC) issued on Pillai was in national interest and on the advice of Intelligence Bureau.
The court expressed concern over Pillai not being allowed to visit London and government has to draw a line between “nationalism and jingoism”.
The court said the government decision of the government is not appropriate as there are many people, who indulged in various anti-national activities, but were travelling abroad.
However, the ASG said Pillai’s visit to London was “a serious threat to the nation and the speech she is going to make there is against the nation. The travel tickets financed in her name were from an organisation which is on the watch list of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).”
ASG while submitting a set of secret documents in the court said the government was stopping her only for this trip as it has specific inputs from Intelligence Bureau (IB).
Meanwhile, the court directed the government to file counter affidavit in regard to their allegation mentioned in the report produced by Foreigner Regional Registration Officer in a sealed cover by February 10.
The court has now fixed the matter for further hearing on February 18.
The court earlier had issued notices to the Ministry and IB on the activist’s demand for compensation of Rs one crore.
She has contended that disallowing her from travelling to London was “completely unlawful and malafide and without any authority of law” and demanded quashing of the alleged ‘Look Out Circular’ against her.
She has also sought expunging of the endorsements made on her passport when she was taken off from the flight by the immigration officials.