Facilitate return of Sikhs on J&K model, centre urged


Staff member
Amritsar March 10:

Sikh leaders to urge the Centre to facilitate the return of kin of ex-militants to the state on the lines of the policy adopted by the J&K government.

Sikh leaders have urged the Centre that the same principle be applied for the relatives of Sikhs figuring in the blacklist. Former Chairman of the National Commission for Minorities, Tarlochan Singh said, “We expect that the same yardstick should be applied for the Sikhs as well.

We are only seeking visas for Sikhs featuring in the blacklist and their relatives to enable them to visit their country and pay obeisance at holy shrines like the Golden Temple. The government can bar those who have a criminal case registered against them.” He said the Union Minister of State for External Affairs Preneet Kaur had responded positively to the issue.

He said he had even urged the government to form a panel of Congress MPs from Punjab to review each case in the blacklist. He claimed that the J&K government’s offer has not been extended to the Sikhs belonging to Jammu, who had moved out of the country in 1984, which is unfair. Jaswinder Singh Dhaliwal, patron of the NRI Sabha, Punjab, said, “The government should first make the blacklist of the Sikhs public so that we know who feature in it and for what reason.”

DSGMC chief Paramjit Singh Sarna said they have already filed a petition in the Delhi High Court to allow the entry of 169 Sikhs who figure in the blacklist and the court had directed the Centre to take a decision by April 9. “There is no clear cut policy on the basis of which these people have been put in the blacklist,” he pointed out. SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar said they had met the PM over the issue many times but the Centre had not acted upon it. “Many people named in the blacklist don’t have any cases registered against them,” he added.