January 17, 2021
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Greenpeace In The Govt's Bad Books

Greenpeace In The Govt's Bad Books
Photo by Sanjay Rawat/ Outlook
Greenpeace In The Govt's Bad Books

Government today barred Greenpeace India from receiving foreign funds by suspending its licence for six months and froze its seven bank accounts with immediate effect,alleging it has "prejudicially" affected country's public and economic interests.

A few months back Greenpeace India activist Priya Pillai was barred by the government from travelling to the UK. The Home Ministry said that according to intelligence reports she had planned to testify on the alleged poor state of tribal people in Mahan and the manner in which the government had allegedly increased efforts to rob the tribal people of their rights, which is an absolutely a false allegation.

Right after this incident, Outlook correspondent Pavithra S Rangan, in wrote

Denying that she was going to 'depose' before a formal parliamentary standing committee, she argues, "I know what it is to 'depose' before a parliament. I have deposed before committees on Environment and Forests on the Nuclear Liability Bill. I have spoken in the FAO headquarters in Rome about the adverse impact of bio-fuels on farmers. However, this is the first time that I am encountering such an unreasonable reaction."

Later, in an interview to Outlook, Priya Pillai said:

I am being harassed on an everyday basis. The situation is one of a silent emergency, where my freedom of spe­ech and expression is being curtailed. There is secret and illegal surveillance over my activities. I had booked my tickets to London as late as 9.30 pm on January 9 and a Lookout Certificate (LOC) was issued on my name on the morning of January 10. My phone is being tapped and my e-mail hacked. How else is it possible for them to track every detail about me, which no one else knows? Even if they issue an LOC against my name, shouldn’t they have at least notified me about it? They haven’t responded to any of my letters, where I have asked them to give me a copy of this LOC. An extra-judicial body like the IB has been given unconstitutional powers to threaten people who speak up against the government. 

Outlook also did a piece on conditions in Mahan where Greenpeace activist Priya Pillai activist was working:

Mahan is a metaphor for the raging debates that India is engaged in today. As the budget session kicks off, the Narendra Modi government is resisting a huge and concerted political opposition to the land acquisition ordinance. Insisting that there is an international conspiracy to slow down India’s growth, the government recently prevented a Greenpeace activist working in Mahan from flying to London. Outlook travelled to Singrauli, the energy capital of India, to find out why some villagers are trying to save a forest with over 5,00,000 sal trees—and why the poor refuse to part with their land, rivers and forests.

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