Statesman News Service
Punjab Chief Minister (CM) Captain Amarinder Singh on Friday expressed concern over the delay in removing the names of the Sikh youth enumerated in the government’s black-list for their alleged involvement in subversive or anti-India activities.
These Indian origin Sikh youth are barred from visiting India on account of being blacklisted. Just before Assembly elections, Union government took 36 Sikhs off its 'black-list' which is believed to have 212 names.
The black-list was put in place by a Congress government after Operation Bluestar in 1984 and the Kanishka bombings in 1985.
Most nonresident Sikhs affected by this ban are residents in the United States, UK and Canada.
The issues came up for discussion when Captain Amarinder called upon the Union External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in New Delhi to inquire about her health in view of her recent kidney transplant.
The minister, Swaraj, said she would take up the issue with the Union Home Ministry, which was in the process of gradually pruning the list of such youth.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Friday acceded to Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh’s request for opening of another passport office in Nawanshahr to facilitate NRIs and their families in the Doaba region of the state, while assuring to look into the issue of the blacklisted Sikh youth settled abroad.
During the brief courtesy call, Swaraj also promised all possible efforts by the Central government to ensure the safety and security of Punjabis and Sikhs living abroad.
The matter of racist attacks on Punjabis and Sikhs settled in various countries outside India also came up for discussion, with the CM urging the Union Minister to take up the matter at the international level to protect victims of such assaults.
Swaraj said her ministry was cognizant of the issue and she had been personally pursuing the matter to ensure that Sikhs and Punjabis settled abroad are provided complete security by the respective governments of those countries.
The External Affairs Minister also acceded to Capt Amarinder's request for opening of another passport office in Nawanshahr to facilitate non-resident Indians and their families in the Doaba region of the state.
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