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Center Accepts Punjab Cms Plea On Black Lists Of Nri Sikhs, Deletes 142 Names

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Center accepts Punjab CMs plea on black lists of NRI Sikhs, deletes 142 names

Punjab Newsline Network

Thursday, 12 May 2011

By Deepti Dharmani

CHANDIGARH: Acting on the repeated pleas of the Punjab government, the Government of India has finally deleted the names of 142 persons out of total of 169 from the Black Lists of “Sikh NRIs”. Only 27 names now remain on the List. Punajb govt wants any discrepancy on names removed through mutual consultations between the state and the central officials.

The issue of Black Lists, which was one of the major political demands of the Shiromani Akali Dal and formed a part of its poll promises in February 2007, was also a key issue agitating the minds of the NRIs. The SAD and the Punjab government had been demanding that the lists should be regularly reviewed and the names on it should be made public and the unjust denial of access to common and innocent NRI Sikhs should stop. The Union government’s earlier refusal to do so had become a major source of harassment and exploitation of Sikhs many of whom were denied access to the country even though their names did not figure on the Black list.

Reacting to the center’s acceptance of the SAD demand, the Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, who also holds the Home portfolio, today demanded that all the details, including, the names of the remaining persons, should be put on the official website of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to eliminate any further exploitation of Sikhs in the matter. “There should be an automatic mechanism for periodic review of these lists. While those facing criminal charges should be brought before the law,there should be no harassment of the innocents,” said the Deputy CM.

The center’s decision comes at the end of several review meeting between the officials of the Punjab and the Union governments and the recommendations of the central and state security agencies. The center has informed the Punjab government that its action follows the “consultations it had with the state govt. officials and the security agencies, the Government of India.”.

The issue of the revision of Black Lists was raised by the Chief Minister Parkas Singh Badal at the All India Chief Ministers’ Conference on Internal Security in New Delhi on February 7 last year. The Honorable High Court Delhi had also asked the government to consider the matter expeditiously.

This issues was again brought up by Sukhbir Singh Badal representing Punjab at a meeting of All India Chief Ministers’ Conference on behalf of Mr. Badal (senior). The Chief Minister had also urged the Prime Minister and the Union MHA through separate demi-official letters in July last year. The issue figured during several meetings he and the Deputy Chief Minister had with the PM.

Consequent upon these meetings, the Union Government had sent a CD containing details of the persons on the Black List. After a thorough review, the Punjab government recommended that those booked for terrorist activities should face the law of the country and the names of all the rest who did not have any criminal cases against them should be removed from the list.

The Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal in a statement has thanked all right thinking persons and organizations in India and abroad for their help to the state government in getting this demand accepted by the center.


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