Centre removes 23 ex-Khalistani
militants' names from blacklist
TNN, Aug 14, 2010, 03.01am IST
<!-- google_ad_section_start -->NEW DELHI: Acting on Punjab government's recommendation, the Centre has finally deleted names of 23 former Khalistani militants -- all foreign nationals -- from the Centre's list of blacklisted Sikh radicals as they are "not involved in any serious criminals cases and anti-India activities".
Consequently, these 23 persons will now be able to get Indian visa and travel to any parts of India without any restriction.
The list -- meant for travel ban and denial of visa -- still has 146 names of Sikh radicals, who were directly or indirectly associated with various pro-Khalistan militant outfits.
The Punjab government had recently recommended to the Centre for striking off the names of 46 radicals from the then list that comprised 169 people, who originally hailed from the state and have since settled in different countries across the world, including US, Canada, Germany and UK.
"After careful consideration of the matter on a case-to-case basis, it has been decided to clear the names of some foreign nationals who are not involved in any serious criminal cases and anti-India activities. Accordingly, orders have been issued deleting the names of 23 foreign nationals from the negative list," said a home ministry statement on Friday.
It said the government had conducted a review of the names of foreign nationals placed in the negative list (black-list), which is a list of persons whose entry into India is not permitted. Inputs of security agencies concerned, including views of the state government of Punjab, were examined, the statement added.
In May, the home ministry had forwarded the list of 169 blacklisted Sikhs to the Punjab government. Subsequently, the state police had done detail background check of these people and recommended to the home ministry for removal of 46 names.
The issue had also gained momentum when a delegation of Sikh NRIs had made their representation before Prime Minister Manmohan Singh when he had visited Canada in June.
"All the 46 names -- as recommended by Punjab government -- have not been deleted from the list. Remaining 23 persons' records were not found to be suitable for this action as they still had a number of cases pending against them in the state," an official said.