Greenpeace Says Foreign Employee Was Barred From Entering India Despite Valid Papers

08/06/2015 1:22 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST
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Indian policemen look on as a Greenpeace activist blocks the entry to the residence of Delhi's Power Minister Haroon Yusuf with a bank of solar panels in New Delhi on May 15, 2013. Greenpeace activists demanded that Delhi Government should take steps to improve its performance on the use of renewable source of energy to deal with capital's power crisis. AFP PHOTO/ Prakash SINGH (Photo credit should read PRAKASH SINGH/AFP/Getty Images)

In their latest skirmish, Greenpeace India has accused the Modi government of barring a foreign member of their organisation from entering the country despite having the required travel documents.

The group has claimed that Aaron Gray-Block, who was traveling from Sydney to meet the Indian staff to discuss their campaigns, was put on a flight to Kuala Lumpur after his passport was seized on Saturday.

“We are forced to wonder if all international staff of Greenpeace will now be prevented from entering the country? If the Home Minister Rajnath Singh has a stand on this, then we would like him to state it clearly,” Divya Raghunandan, programme director, Greenpeace India, said in a statement.

READ: We Are Greenpeace And Fighting For The Environment Is Not A Crime

Earlier this year, the Indian government blocked Greenpeace India's bank accounts following an Intelligence Bureau report on foreign-funded NGOs described the group as “a threat to national economic security". One of its activists, Priya Pillai, was barred from traveling to London. The Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Sanjay Jain told the court she is "a serious threat to the nation and the speech she is going to make there is against the nation."

The Delhi high court overturned the travel ban, saying an individual's criticism "cannot be muzzled" even if it is unpalatable.

Last month, the Delhi High Court overturned the bank accounts freeze and told authorities to release approximately $270,000 worth of funds.

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