Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Friday welcomed the Centre's decision to virtually scrap the controversial 'black list', which he said was totally discriminatory towards the Sikh community.
After the Punjab government's persistent demand and efforts, the central government has virtually done away with the list, which comprised 314 Sikh foreign nationals, with only two names of men not connected with Punjab now left on it.
The central government has also discontinued the practice of maintenance of local adverse lists by the respective Indian missions in various countries.
In a statement issued here, Singh thanked the Centre for agreeing to the state government's demand on the list, thus making Sikh foreign nationals eligible for availing visa services to visit their families in India and reconnect with their roots.
"Our government had worked actively with the Centre for scrapping the list, created by the central government and its agencies in 2016," he said.
"Every Sikh had the right to visit Punjab and Darbar Sahib, including those who had gone astray in the surcharged atmosphere of the 80s and 90s, particularly in the wake of the Operation Bluestar and the anti-Sikh riots," added the Chief Minister.
Singh said the central government's decision would go a long way in bringing those members of the Sikh community, who had fled the nation as a result of the circumstances that prevailed in the 80s and the 90s, to connect with their families back home.
"The creation of the black list had been a regressive move, which needed to be corrected in the larger interest of the community," the Chief Minister said.
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