New Delhi, Sep 13 : The Centre on Friday removed from the Government’s blacklist, names of 312 Sikh foreign nationals who were earlier involved in anti-India activities, the Home Ministry officials said here.
These nationals have now become eligible to avail Visa services to visit family in India and reconnect with their roots, the officials added. Only two names remain in this category. The Centre's move comes after the review of the ‘Adverse List’ carried out by the different security agencies from time to time and is a continuous and dynamic process. Such a review will afford an opportunity to such Sikh foreign nationals to visit India, meet their family members and reconnect to their roots.
During the 1980s, many Sikh 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 or visa services to asylees and their family members, mostly belonging to Sikh community, was the maintenance of local adverse lists by Indian Missions, a home Ministry official privy to the development said.
Consequently, all Indian Missions abroad have been advised to grant appropriate visa to all categories of asylees and derivative asylees that is 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.
This will also pave the way to all categories of asylees who become eligible for issuance of long term Indian visa and 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, the officials said.