Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Badal on Wednesday urged union home minister Rajnath Singh to review the blacklist of the Sikhs residing abroad maintained by the union government, and delete names of those who were not required for any crime in Punjab.
In a letter to the union home minister, Sukhbir drew Singh’s attention to the blacklist maintained by the foreigners division of the union home ministry saying that it caused harassment to the Sikhs as “it was full of discrepancies and inaccuracies”.
He said the state government constantly received complaints from Punjabis settled abroad that the blacklist caused problems for everyone. “The Sikhs with names similar to those mentioned in the blacklist are being harassed at various airports,” Sukhbir wrote.
He added that foreigners also did not understand differences in appearances of Sikhs which resulted in a sense of discrimination among those who were typecast as anti-nationals for no fault of theirs.”
He said the list mentioned 63 foreign nationals for the purpose of visa restrictions. Of these, he said, the identity of 31 persons could not be ascertained in the absence of complete particulars. “Of the remaining 32 persons, there is a need to review the list in consultation with the Punjab government, and delete names of those who are not required for any crime in Punjab.”