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Worried Over Ban on Diplomats, Indian State mulls to Impose Visa Curb on Sikh Diaspora Representatives

January 30, 2018 | By

Chandigarh: As per the media reports the Indian government is mulling to impose visa curbs against Canada based Sikhs for initiating a movement in which the Gurdwara management of 14 Gurdwaras in Ontario and 16 in British Columbia and Alberta unequivocally barred the Indian diplomats from using the Gurdwara stage in their official capacity. The move followed by Sikhs in other countries, including United States of America, England and Australia.

Reports in Indian Media have quoted to undisclosed sources in Canada saying that the Indian diplomats have begun preparing a list of Sikh directly or indirectly linked with the move.

India is learnt to have conveyed through its diplomatic channels that those supporting the ban as well as their relatives could face stricter visa norms. Even if granted visa, they could be denied entry upon arrival at Indian ports, notes a report published in The Tribune (TT).

The report in The Tribune (TT) says that the Consul General of India to Canada Dinesh Bhatia was contacted for comment but he declined to speak on this issue.

A Sign of India’ Apprehensions:

The move shows that Indian state is worried about Sikh diaspora’s response against its diplomats.

Interestingly, India’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) earlier this month had termed the movement of barring Indian diplomats as orchestrated by some “fringe elements”, and that India’s MEA does not take cognisance of such “fringe elements”.

Notably, the diaspora Sikh sections said that the move was necessary to curb Indian state’s interference in internal matters of the Sikh community.

Meanwhile, talking to Sikh Siyasat News (SSN) over telephone a Canadian Sikh representative who was involved in the Sikh move against Indian diplomats said: “[t]here is nothing new in this visa curbing measures as it can be seen as another perpetual attempt to silence the just voice of diaspora Sikhs”.

To establish its hegemony over diaspora Sikhs around the world the Indian state has time and again resorted to such intimidating tactics, he added.

After this act of Human rights violation, India should stop calling itself as world’s largest democracy, said he.

He clarified that no one is restricted from visiting Gurdwaras, adding that Indian representatives won’t be allowed to use Gurdwara stages.

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