Only two of the 314 Sikh foreign nationals who were blacklisted by the government remain in the list after 312 Sikh foreign nationals were removed from the Central Adverse List or blacklist containing the names of foreign nationals. Those whose names have been taken off the list can enter India.
The government says this review is a continuous and dynamic process and a part of a regular exercise.
"There was a demand from many Sikh organisations. So we reviewed the list and now, all those Sikh foreign nationals who were earlier debarred now can visit India, meet their family members and reconnect to their roots," a senior government functionary told NDTV.
In the 1980s, many Sikh Indian nationals were placed in this category for promoting anti-India sentiments. At that time, several Sikh Indians left the country to escape Indian authorities, sought asylum outside India and took citizenship in other countries.
The Union Home Ministry had earlier announced that it has put an end to the local adverse lists, commonly known as 'black lists' of Indian-origin people.
"As one of the major issue coming in the way of grant of consular or visa services to asylum seekers and their family members, mostly belonging to Sikh community, was maintenance of local adverse lists by Indian Missions. This practice was discontinued," an officer said.
All Indian missions have been advised to grant appropriate visas to all categories of asylees and derivative asylees (family members) whose names do not figure in the Central Adverse List, in line with the procedure followed for other categories of applicants of that nationality.
All categories of asylees who have become eligible for issuance of long term Indian visa will also be eligible to apply for registration as Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cardholder after they have applied for and held normal visas for a period of two years.
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