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Greenpeace activist moves HC challenging offloading

Greenpeace activist Priya Pillai Tuesday moved the Delhi High Court challenging her offloading at the airport here, when she was on her way to London to brief British MPs on the rights of forest-dwelling communities affected by coal mining.



New Delhi: Greenpeace activist Priya Pillai Tuesday moved the Delhi High Court challenging her offloading at the airport here, when she was on her way to London to brief British MPs on the rights of forest-dwelling communities affected by coal mining.

Justice Rajiv Shakdher will hear the plea Wednesday.

Pillai said her offloading was "illegal and arbitrary" and she had a valid business visa for six months to visit London where she was scheduled to address British parliamentarians Jan 14. Pillai was offloaded Jan 11.

"The illegal offloading by over-zealous government agencies is not just a violation of her basic right to personal liberty and freedom of speech but is also deliberate attempt to malign her reputation," the plea said.

Pillai also challenged the alleged lookout circular issued in her name.

"The circular has no legal basis as Pillai neither has any conviction against her, nor has she ever evaded arrest or trial in any case," the plea said.

It further said her reputation and work were being "targeted" by the government and urged the court to issue an appropriate order to "expunge" the endorsement "offload" on her passport and also issue an order to set aside the lookout circular against her at the earliest.

Pillai was invited by British MPs to talk about her campaigning with local communities in Mahan in Madhya Pradesh, where a proposed coal mining project is threatening to uproot the lives and livelihood of the forest community.

The high court recently ordered the central government to unblock Rs.1.87 crore of Greenpeace India that was frozen. The funds were blocked by the Reserve Bank of India following a June 2014 home ministry directive that the NGO challenged in court.

From Zee News

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