Chandigarh: Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal on Wednesday urged Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh to review the blacklist of Sikhs maintained by his ministry and delete name of the persons who were not wanted for any criminal case in the state.
Sukhbir, in a letter, wrote to Singh that the blacklist maintained by the 'Foreigners Division' of the home ministry was causing harassment to Sikhs because it was full of discrepancies and inaccuracies, an official spokesman said.
The letter said Sikhs with names similar to those maintained in the blacklist were being harassed at various airports.
Sukhbir said foreign nationals also did not understand differences in appearances of Sikhs which resulted in a sense of discrimination among those who were typecast as anti- nationals for no fault, the spokesman said.
The Deputy CM also brought to the notice of the home minister that the Punjab government was continuously receiving complaints from Punjabi people settled abroad that the maintenance of the blacklist was causing problems.
"They have demanded that this list should be reviewed and even done away with," he said.
The letter said, according to information available with the Punjab government, there were 63 foreign nationals on the blacklist maintained by the Ministry of Home Affairs (as communicated to the Punjab government) for the purpose of visa restrictions.
He said out of these, the identity of 31 persons could not be ascertained in the absence of complete particulars.
"Out of the remaining 32 persons also there is a need to review the list in consultation with the Punjab government for deletion of names of all persons who are not required in connection with any criminal case in Punjab," he added.
Sukhbir also brought to the notice of Singh that presently there was no mechanism to review the blacklist periodically.
"You would also agree that there is no tangible benefit in keeping names of persons whose identities are not fully determined on the blacklist. In fact the maintenance of this list has resulted in alienation of a section of Sikh diaspora without any substantial national security advantages," he said in the letter.
Requesting that the names of persons against whom there were no cases or legal proceedings pending should be removed from the blacklist, he urged for a review of the list on a regular basis.