3 decade-old blacklist of Sikh NRIs scrapped before Punjab Polls

goldentempleThe Prime Minister’s Office has decided to do away with a 32-year-old government rule banning visits to India by NRIs from 212 Sikh families.

The blacklist that was created after 1984, was meant to keep away pro-Khalistan elements that had fled to the US, UK and Canada, in the aftermath of the crackdown that ensued Operation Bluestar.

Over the past few months PM Modi was approached by representatives from various Sikh groups who requested that the blacklist be scrapped.

After directions from the PM’s Office a committee headed by additional secretary of the home ministry examined 324 cases on the blacklist, of which 212 have been cleared while another 112 cases are under scrutiny.

Experts believe many of the names on the blacklist were arbitrary, and Sikh NRI groups also alleged a case of systematic discrimination against them, claims that the Intelligence Bureau rejected. The Bureau cited security concerns and opposed the proposal to remove the ban for over three decades.