A New Delhi-based Sikh group has taken up with the Indian envoy in the US concerns of the Sikh diaspora, including the inability of several of them to visit India after they sought political asylum in the US, Canada and other countries during the turbulent years of the 1980s.
Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) president Manjit Singh GK led a delegation to Washington on Monday and met India's Ambassador to the US Arun Kumar Singh.
In a letter presented to the Indian envoy, Singh raised concerns of the Sikh diaspora settled in the US and those who are "covered in the black list" of India's ministry of home affairs.
The letter also stated that a large number of Sikh families had been denied visa to visit India "without being given a valid reason" and their "cases are dealt with unjustified discretion".
Singh told PTI that he was assured by the Indian ambassador that the matter would be taken up with the authorities concerned within the Government of India.
In the letter, the DSGMC cited the "turbulent era" of the 1980s-1990s, including the anti-Sikh riots of 1984, following which a large number of Sikh families had migrated to the US, Canada and other countries, seeking political asylum.
The letter said many of the asylum-seekers were booked in cases in India and had not been allowed to visit their homeland in the past 30 years "as their names figure in the black list" in the ministry of home affairs.
The top DSGMC official sought the Indian ambassador's intervention to resolve the issue at the earliest and to ensure that Sikhs were able to visit India.
"Your initiative would pave a way for the Sikh diaspora to fulfil their wish, which doesn't seem impossible but fraught with many hurdles. It is requested that the passports of all these families be renewed and they be given visas to visit India," Singh said in the letter, adding that the issues needed to be resolved soon so that Sikhs "don't feel alienated and discriminated against". Singh said in the letter that the previous government in India did not try to resolve the issue.