UK MP wants names of Sikh hardliners off govt’s ‘blacklist’
The MP, who was in Phagwara on Wednesday, said, “Many Sikhs have been waiting for last 30-35 years to come to their native places and meet family members in Punjab.punjab Updated: Aug 10, 2017 12:12 IST
Virendra Kumar Sharma, a member of the UK Parliament, from the British Labour Party, on Wednesday demanded that the Indian government should prune the blacklist of Sikhs that was prepared after the Operation Bluestar in 1984.
The MP, who was in Phagwara on Wednesday, said, “Many Sikhs have been waiting for last 30-35 years to come to their native places and meet family members in Punjab. Due to this ‘Blacklist’, they are deprived of a chance to visit India.”
The ‘Blacklist’ has included the names of hardliners and also has names of those Sikhs who had condemned the army operation to flush out armed terrorists from the Golden Temple complex.
He said that all people on the list are elderly now and there would be no threat to the harmony of the state or country with their visit now. “It has been so long and if Union government deletes their names from the ‘Blacklist’ they will be able to meet their families after decades. My party will take up this matter with the Indian government,” Sharma said.
He also batted for the release of arrested hardliners, who have been in jail for past several years after 1984.
“The government should review their cases and those who have completed their sentences should be released and allowed to live their remaining life with their family,” the MP said while talking to media persons.
Meanwhile, answering a query about the UK’s involvement in the Operation Bluestar, Sharma said that UK government must conduct an independent inquiry as this matter is attached with sentiments of Punjabis and Sikhs.