Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar today said his ministry has “nothing to do” with the denial of entry to a Greenpeace activist and said that it “values” participation of various NGOs.
“We have nothing to do with that. We are not doing this. A different ministry is doing this for security of the country… it’s a different thing,” Javadekar said in response to a query on the matter.
“We value NGOs’ participation. We have conducted a workshop recently and a consultation meeting of more than 125 NGOs who are working with masses in forests, wildlife management and many other things. NGOs are not one or two. There is no monopoly,” he asserted at a press conference held after the completion of one year of government.
Greenpeace India today claimed that Aaron Gray-Block, a member of Greenpeace International, had flown in from Sydney on Saturday to take part in a series of meetings with staff here and was denied entry into India despite having valid documents.
The NGO claimed that Gray-Block was travelling on an Australian passport and no formal reason was given by immigration officials in Bangalore for the decision to turn back Gray-Block, who was not officially deported.
The NGO claimed that as Gray-Block was denied entry, his passport was seized and he was later put on a flight to Kuala Lumpur. His passport was returned to him after he landed in Kuala Lumpur, said Greenpeace, adding that Gray-Block is now back in Australia.
Early this year, Greenpeace India activist Priya Pillai was controversially offloaded from a flight to London in January. She was stopped by immigration officers in New Delhi airport from boarding her flight to the UK capital, where she was to address British parliamentarians.
The Centre had in April blocked Greenpeace India’s bank accounts following which the environmental group had to seek interim relief from Delhi High Court.