Greenpeace’s ‘Protest Motivator’ Gray-Block Turned Away At IGI
New Delhi: In yet another confrontation between the government and Greenpeace International, a ‘blacklisted’ member of the NGO was barred from entering India on June 6 as he landed at the Indira Gandhi International airport from Sydney.
Aaron Gray-Block, an Australian national, worked as a Crisis Response Campaigner and also looked after media relations at Greenpeace International. His passport, with a valid business visa, was seized by the immigration authorities and he was put on a flight to Kuala Lumpur. His passport was returned to him there. While Greenpeace claimed in a statementthatnoformalreasonwas given to bar his entry, sources in the ministry of home affairs claimed that Gray-Block was one of the 13 activists of the organisation who were blacklisted for violation of visa rulesinFebruary.TheMHAsources said that the 13 activists — nine from UK, three from US and one Australian (Gray-Block) — were found to be training, motivating and organising Greenpeace India’s activists to create field-level protests near thermal plant and coal mine locations.
“Their activities were prejudicial to India’s economic interests and were damaging country’s energy securityconcerns,”claimedasenior MHA official. “Their names were provided to the Delhi high court and also to the NGO. By inviting GrayBlock to India, Greenpeace is deliberately trying to needle the Indian authoritiesandescalatetheconfrontation,” claimed a senior MHA official.
Gray-Block was travelling to India to take part in a series of meetings with staff and to learn more about Greenpeace India’s current campaigns, according to an official Greenpeace statement.
According to officials, Gray-Block had visited India last year too and had spent a lot of time in Mahan area, interacting with locals and organising protests.