August 19, 2016 | By Parmjeet Singh
Chandigarh: Indian government’s infamous ‘black list of Sikhs’ continues to exist despite claims of various pro-government ‘Sikh leaders’ that they have convinced the Modi government to finish it off. There are reports in the Indian media that the Narendra Modi led government has removed certain names from the so-called black list. According to a news reported in The Tribune (TT) names of 225 Sikhs settled abroad were removed by the Government of India from the infamous list during last four years.
“We have pruned the list in the past four years and recently removed names of 36 Sikhs settled abroad,” a Home Ministry official reportedly said.
As per these media report the list still carries 73 names.
The list was reportedly prepared in 1980s and it is believed that it includes names of those Sikhs residing abroad who speak-out in favour of the Sikh cause or hold peaceful protests/demonstrations against the Indian government’s repressive policies.
The Indian government never disclosed the exact number of ‘black listed Sikhs’. It is also believed that various agencies or organs of the state have maintained their own black lists. In 2013, a Punjab police official disclosed in the Punjab and Haryana High Court during the hearing of a petition that Sikh names were added to the black list during 1980s to 90s in “wholesale manner”. [READ MORE AT | PUNJAB COP REVEALED THAT ANY SIKH GOING ABROAD IN 1980s WAS BLACK-LISTED AS “TERRORIST” ]
Moreover, the Punjab government, when asked by the previous UPA government to tender it’s advise on blacklist issue, found that there was massive discrepancies in the list provided by the Centre. Many names were added twice or thrice in the list which also included the names of deceased persons, or those who are already residing in Punjab or elsewhere in the Indian subcontinent. On the other hand, the Sikh Siyasat News (SSN) had identified some names that were not included in the list but they were denied entry to India by Indian authorities [READ MORE AT | NOT EVEN BLACKLISTED, CANADIAN SIKH NOT PERMITTED TO ATTEND FATHER’S FUNERAL ].
Many organizations have already issued statements to welcome centre’s move to cut short the black list while urging the Modi govt. to finish it off.
The government may have cut the list short it is, however, highly doubtful that the Indian state would destroy an offensive weapon it used for past three decades in its attempt to control Sikh diaspora activism.
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