United Akali Dal general secretary Bhai Satnam Singh Manaw (third from right) hailed the government's decision in a video.
United Akali Dal general secretary Bhai Satnam Singh Manaw (third from right) hailed the government's decision in a video.

Ex-Khalistan ideologue Zaffarwal, Satnam Singh Manaw hail govt for removing 312 foreign nationals from 'adverse list'

ANI | Updated: Sep 14, 2019 14:47 IST

Tarn Taran/Gurdaspur (Punjab) [India], Sept 14 (ANI): Former Khalistan ideologue Wassan Singh Zaffarwal and United Akali Dal (UAD) general secretary Bhai Satnam Singh Manaw have expressed gratitude to the Central government for removing 312 Sikh foreign nationals' names from the blacklist which barred them from travelling to India.
The Centre recently removed 312 Sikhs from the "Adverse List" consisting of 314 names after a review, according to Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) sources.
Zaffarwal described the government's move as "commendable".
"Modi government's decision to remove 312 Sikhs from the blacklist is commendable. The Sikhs, whose names were on the list and were living abroad, could not come back to Punjab. With the removal from the blacklist, they will be able to visit their homeland and will be able to take part in the 550th birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Nanak Dev Ji," Zaffarwal said in a video released from Gurdaspur.
Manaw, who has participated in various protests against sacrilege, said the government's move will enable the 312 people to pay obeisance at the Golden Temple.
Manaw and Zaffarwal both appealed the government to give bail to Sikh prisoners so that they can visit gurudwaras on the occasion of Guru Nanak's birth anniversary.
"We would urge the Central government to release the Sikh political prisoners, the ones who have completed their sentences but are still languishing in jails since long, they should be released so that they can return to their homes," Zaffarwal said.
Speaking to ANI in Tarn Taran, Manaw said: "If there is any problem in it, then at least parole should be given to them."
The Sikh leader also asked Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan to reconsider his decision to charge USD 20 from devotees who will be visiting Gurudwara Kartarpur Sahib using the under-construction Kartarpur corridor.
Manaw said that this imposition of fee will restrict religious rights of Sikhs of all castes and stature to visit Gurudwara Sri Kartarpur Sahib. "Imran Khan should not implement the fees. Sikhs from all sections of life should be given a chance to pay obeisance at the holy sites, visa-free. It will be a good step for all," he said.
Manaw was one of the key organisers of Sarbat Khalsa and Bargari Morcha when he was the Khalistan Commando Force chief.
The removal of these 312 people from the government's Adverse List will make them eligible to get Indian visa and Overseas Indian card.
Elaborating on the Adverse List, sources in MHA told ANI: "During the 80s many Sikh Indian nationals and foreign nationals belonging to the Sikh community fell to anti-India propaganda. Some Sikh Indian nationals fled India to escape authorities, became foreign nationals and took asylum outside India. They were placed in the Adverse List till 2016, making them ineligible to avail visa services to visit India." (ANI)