The government is committed to ensuring that perpetrators of atrocities during the 1984 anti-Sikh riots are brought to justice, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said on Thursday.
He was interacting with expat Indians in Australia, Surinam, the US, Singapore, Quatar, Malaysia, the UK and Mauritius through video conferencing on the occasion of Pravasi Bharatiya Divas when he made the comment.
To a question regarding misconceptions about the Sikh community abroad, Mr Jaishankar said among the Indian communities abroad, Sikhs have been the foremost in shaping the brand and image of India.
Referring to the anti-Sikh riots of 1984, he said, "As a government, we are committed to ensuring that the perpetrators of atrocities are brought to justice. Where some cases regarding anti-Sikh riots were closed, we have had them reopened and reinvestigated. We have looked at compensation for people who have been affected by the riots of 1984."
"Where we are concerned, there are no misperception about the Sikh community. They are an extraordinarily diligent, hardworking, patriotic and contributing community in India and abroad," the external affairs minister said.
There may be a few people who are pursuing their own agenda in a way that is detrimental to the interests of India, but the vast majority of this community is deeply attached to the welfare, security and integrity of India, he asserted.
"In terms of what has happened in the past, I recognise that, having served in various embassies in last 30 years. We know that there have been complaints from the community," Mr Jaishankar said.
"We all know the reason for denial of consular services to some people. This government has taken the initiative to address that. We have decided that political asylees of Sikh origin and their family members who in the past could not obtain passports and consular services will now be allowed to do that," he said.
The government last September had removed from its blacklist names of 312 Sikh foreign nationals involved in anti-India activities and only two persons figure in the list now.