Even as the NDA regime awaits judicial verdict in Greenpeace activist Priya Pillai case, it remains determined to stop other activists as well if it gets prior information that their testimony or deposition abroad may ‘harm’ what it claims to be national interest of the country.
Government officials say they have already informed the Delhi high court, which is hearing Pillai’s petition against her off-loading, of blacklisting 13 other Greenpeace International’s foreign activists from coming to India.
The government told Delhi HC that these activists were ‘found to be training, motivating and organising Greenpeace India’s activists to create field-level protests and activities that would damage India’s energy security interests’.
“We remain determined to stop Pillai. We are hopeful of favourable court ruling. We have no problem in Pillai going abroad if she stays away from deposing or testifying abroad and it has been made clear by additional solicitor general Sanjay Jain in his arguments before the court as well,” said a home ministry official requesting anonymity.
The government said that Pillai travelled abroad eight times between January 2007 and June 2012 but was never stopped as she was not known to be travelling with an anti-India agenda.
Pillai was barred from flying to London on January 11 on the basis of a look-out-circular issued by the Intelligence Bureau. She had to address a committee of British Parliament members there.
According to sources, what US President Barack Obama said on religious freedom in India was noticed in the security establishment. Such allegations form the basis of imposing sanctions on India in future. Any deposition or a testimony by an Indian NGO activist on such an issue can harm Indian economic interests.