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Gov't tells HC it was totally cool to de-plane Greenpeace activist because 'anti-national activities'

The central government told the Delhi high court Friday that Greenpeace activist Priya Pillai has been “involved in anti-national activities” and that was why she was offloaded Jan 11 at the airport here.

Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain told the court that Pillai was offloaded on the basis of intelligence inputs that she was going to London to attend a meeting which was against the country’s interests.

Jain submitted a set of secret documents to Justice Rajiv Shakdher and said: “The petitioner (Pillai) was offloaded on the basis of intelligence inputs as she has been involved in anti-national activities. The organisation Greenpeace in which she is working was also indulged in anti-national activities. The findings of the organisation is under watch.”

The court asked the additional solicitor general to state these submissions on an affidavit and posted the matter for Feb 18.

The court questioned the centre’s move to stop Pillai from travelling abroad as it is against the fundamental rights.

Pillai said in her petition that 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.

“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,” senior advocate Indira Jaisingh, appearing for Pillai, told the court.

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

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

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