Press Trust of india

Home Ministry has done away with 'Black Lists' of Indian-origin people: Officials

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New Delhi, May 7 : The Home Ministry has done away with 'Black Lists' of Indian-origin people, mostly Sikhs, who have taken asylum abroad under the plea of alleged persecution in India, officials said Tuesday.

The list is maintained by Indian missions.

The officials said all such people will also be given regular visa as well as Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cards.

The Indian-origin asylees, were denied visa services by Indian missions and posts since they took asylum abroad under the plea of alleged persecution in India.

The ministry has now done away with the maintenance of any local adverse lists, more commonly known as 'Black Lists', by Indian missions and posts abroad, a Home Ministry official told PTI.

Now, such asylees and their family members who are not in the main adverse list of the government of India will be granted visa and consular services at par with foreigners of the country in which they are living.

Such Indian-origin people, mostly Sikhs, can also get OCI cards if they have held normal Indian visas for at least two years, the official said.

The ministry has also delegated to state governments and Foreigners Regional Registration Officers (FRROs) to grant permits to foreigners to visit protected  and restricted areas in the country.

The state governments and FRROs can now grant such permits even for non-tourism purposes and even in areas not opened for tourism purposes, another official said.

Some parts of Northeastern states, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and a few islands in the Andamans have been declared as protected and restricted areas and foreigners are required to take special permission to visit such places.

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