NRI Entry Blacklist: Review and Reform Sought
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To: The Prime Minister of India and the Home Minister of India
The Entry Blacklist that affects many of the Indian Diaspora must be pragmatically reviewed and revised. Not only does it feature a disproportionate number of Sikhs but many have been listed for a large number of years during which time the circumstances, both here and abroad, have changed. Many individuals have been added to the list based on potentially spurious allegations.
This Petition is for all of the Diaspora, though Sikhs form the majority of the listed names to the best of our knowledge and belief. As the original assessment of risk at the time of inclusion of any name on this list may have significantly changed in the intervening years we request a fresh risk assessment of every Sikh name featuring on this list.
We cannot afford to have fundamentalists regroup overseas. We cannot afford the Indian Diaspora to feel disaffected. The Entry Blacklist should not provide political ammunition that these groups have been lacking for nearly 2 decades. The Blacklist must therefore be reviewed as follows:
i. The Black List must be made accessible under the provisions of the Right to Information Act, to enable individuals to see if they are included.
ii. All persons issued visas by our foreign missions but denied access on arrival in India must be compensated.
iii. Provide persons featuring on the list with the principal reason for their inclusion. Specifics may be withheld but at least the category of offence or allegation should be made available.
iv. Introduce an appeals process, preferably through an independent Appellate Authority, with final appeal to be determined by Courts
We need to review the complex bureaucratic processes that compose and edit the Black List. The Black List includes numerous injustices. We must urgently start the process for its review and concurrently the revision of the related statute, policies and procedures. This review should be in line with the letter by Jassi Khangura to the Honourable Prime Minister of India dated 2nd March 2010.
Jassi Khangura, MLA, Halqa Qila Raipur, Punjab, India