Washington, DC: The Narendra Modi government has almost done away with the blacklist of overseas Sikhs, which denied them an Indian visa, said a senior BJP leader told Sikh community members here. Blacklisted NRI Sikhs are debarred from travelling to India due to their alleged ties with Khalistan movement in the 80s and 90s. The list was prepared at different levels by the security agencies.
The names in the list, and denial of the India visa to them, of late, have been one of the main reasons of discontent among the Sikh communities in the United States.
“We have almost done away with the most inhuman blacklist, which used to deny the community their right to visit India, the right to visit Harmandir Sahib, the right to meet with their relatives, near and dear ones,” BJP general secretary Ram Madhav said about the denial of visa to a congregation of Sikhs at one of the oldest Gurdwaras of Maryland in a suburb of Washington, DC.
“The (black) list has been almost completely removed. Only a few individuals remain (on the list). Those names will also go,” Madhav said.
Early this year, several Sikh gurdwaras in the US had announced that they would not let any Indian government official address their congregation. A large number of gurdwaras had later dissociated themselves from such a move.
Madhav said the government had approached the Supreme Court to cancel anticipatory bails of those who had led the 1984 anti-Sikh riots that took the lives of more than 3,000 people so that they can be put behind the bars.
Madhav also addressed a gathering of Indian Americans where he said the BJP wanted to be ruling in all the 29 States of India.
“We narrowly missed the 22nd State. It should rightfully belong to us. People voted for a mukti (freedom) from the Congress,” he said and alleged that the Congress-brand politics has made a “back-door entry” to power in Karnataka, even after it lost the recently concluded Assembly elections.
“They have managed to try and enter from the back door. Congress is the party of the past. It is (now) ready to be a second fiddle to a local party. They are happy, as long as they are able to keep BJP out (of power) for at least three months. BJP is the present of India and BJP is going to be the future of India,” Madhav said at the New India event organised by Overseas Friends of BJP to celebrate the fourth anniversary of the NDA government.
He said that the government has decided not to have security operations during the month of Ramadan in Jammu and Kashmir.
But this does not mean that the security forces would be sitting ducks for anybody to come and attack.
“If any attack happened, it would be retaliated with full force,” said the BJP leader who is party’s in-charge of Jammu & Kashmir.