Centre removes names of 312 Sikh foreign nationals from blacklist

37
Union Home Minister Amit Shah. File Photo

New Delhi, September 13: The Government of India reviewed the Adverse List containing 314 foreign nationals belonging to Sikh community and brought it down to just two.

This review is a continuous and dynamic process and is a part of a regular exercise. Such a review will afford an opportunity to such Sikh foreign nationals to visit India, meet their family members and reconnect to their roots, Home Ministry sources said on Friday.

During 1980s, many Indian nationals and foreign nationals belonging to Sikh community fell to anti-India propaganda. Some Sikh Indian nationals fled India to escape Indian authorities, became foreign nationals and took asylum outside India. They were placed in the adverse list till 2016, making them ineligible to avail visa services to visit India.

One major issue coming in the way of grant of consular/visa services to these people and their family members, mostly belonging to Sikh community, was maintenance of local adverse lists by Indian Missions. This practice has also been discontinued.

Consequently, all Indian Missions/Posts abroad have been advised to grant appropriate visa to all categories of asylees and derivative asylees (i.e. 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.

Secondly, all categories of asylees who become eligible for issuance of long-term Indian visa will also be eligible to apply for registration as Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cardholder after they have applied for and held normal visas for a period of two years, sources added.