Debating India

INDIA

BJP’s NRI cell to help blacklisted Sikhs

Yudhvir RANA

Sunday 18 January 2004, by RANA*Yudhvir

AMRITSAR : If the efforts of BJP’s NRI cell bore fruitful results, hundreds of blacklisted Sikhs living in foreign countries could join back their families in India in near future.

The cell has observed that the general mood of blacklisted Sikhs living in UK and other foreign countries was nostalgic and it was high time when they wanted to return back home and live in mainstream of life with their immediate family members.

Rulda Singh, general secretary of cell, after returning from his recent visit from UK , told TNN on Sunday that he had several rounds of meetings with individual blacklisted Sikhs and different Sikh organizations including pro-Khalistani and moderates. “The fierce sentiments against Indian government, which, once overpowered their mind have now mellowed down among majority of them yet few Sikhs and Sikh organizations were still adamant on their demand of Khalistan” said he adding that cell’s initiative was to convince them that they were allegedly mislead by previous Congress governments.

Notably India had blacklisted hundreds of Sikhs who had staged demonstrations in front of Indian embassies and made venomous speeches against India , provided shelter to Sikh terrorists and who were declared proclaimed offenders by courts and also those who had committed crimes like murders and bomb blasts in India .

With the efforts of Cell, in August, last year, Central government had scrapped the names of 22 Sikhs living in Canada and USA from the blacklist said Rulda Singh adding that efforts were afoot for scarping the list of about 400 blacklisted Sikhs living in various countries so that they could get visas for visiting their native places. ”The aim is to give them another chance to join the mainstream” said he.

He said he had addressed a gathering of representatives of Sikh organization at Birmingham Gurdwara on January 4 wherein he had conveyed the Cell’s motive to Sikhs in general and particular to those who were blacklisted and were willing to return home. About fifty blacklisted Sikhs were in UK said he.

Rulda Singh claimed that various resentments of Sikhs have considerably reduced under the BJP led NDA’s government. He said feelers could be sent to other countries aldo for the purpose adding that government could initially consider scrapping the names of those Sikhs from blacklist who had not committed any heinous crime.

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