In a significant but secret move, the Punjab government has recommended deletion of the names of 46 people from the Centre’s ‘black list’, including top Khalistan protagonists and former militants, who have been found to uninvolved in any criminal case.
Of these, 39 are Punjab-origin foreign nationals who were denied the Indian visa because of their pro-Khalistan activities since the ‘80s, while seven are ex-militants residing in Punjab.
Notables among them are US nationals Gurmit Singh Aulukh and Ganga Singh Dhillon, long-time campaigners for a separate Sikh state; Canada-residents Ajaib Singh Bagri, a Babbar Khalsa International (Parmar) activist who was tried for the Kanishka bombing and Avtar Singh alias Tari of Khalistan Liberation Force; and Shingara Singh and Resham Singh, both top Babbar Khalsa leaders residing in France and Germany respectively.
The de-listing recommendation is in response to blacklisting of 169 names that the Ministry of Home Affairs had forwarded to Punjab on May 17. HT is in possession of the ‘secret’ official communication.
The Shiromani Akali Dal’s demand for scrapping the black list is seen as an attempt to pander to the Sikh radicals in
the wake of upcoming high-stake Shiromani Gurdawara Parbandhak Committee elections.
The MHA had sent to Punjab the consolidated and updated blacklist ( as on 14/05/2010)" of 185 names for a review and recommendation. However, the review revealed there are actually 169 blacklisted names.
Punjab has also asked the Ministry to provide it the complete addresses of another 84 persons on the blacklist.
For the remaining 11, belonging to other states, Punjab has recommended comments be sought from the authorities concerned.