312 foreign Sikh nationals have been removed from an “adverse list” which would now allow them to apply for visa and visit the country, said an official from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).

The blacklist had names of Sikh foreign nationals involved in anti-India activities and now only two people figure on the blacklist, a Home Ministry official said today. The list had come into effect when Sikh militancy was at its peak in the 1980s.

“Some Sikhs fled India to escape Indian authorities, acquired foreign nationality and took asylum outside India. They were placed in the adverse list till 2016, making them ineligible to avail visa services to visit India,” said the MHA official.

The decision has been taken after a review carried out by different security agencies on the ‘Adverse List’  containing the names of foreign nationals involved in anti-India activities.

“The Government of India has reviewed the Adverse List containing 314 foreign nationals belonging to the Sikh community and brought it down to just two,” the official confirmed. Those removed from the list are now eligible to avail a visa to visit family in India and reconnect with their roots.

The list was maintained by the intelligence agencies and was available with all Indian missions which hampered the visa availing process even for the family members who were not on the list. “This practice has also been discontinued. Consequently, all Indian Missions have been advised to grant appropriate visa to all categories of asylees and derivative asylees (family members) whose names do not figure in the Central Adverse List, in line with the procedure followed for other categories of applicants of that nationality,” said the official.