In yet another reconciliatory measure aimed at overseas citizens and the diaspora, the Indian Home Ministry has decided to discard its 'Black Lists' of Indian-origin people. The list mostly is comprised of the names of people belonging to the Sikh Community, who have taken asylum abroad under the plea of alleged persecution in India, officials said.
The list is maintained by Indian missions abroad. As per Home Ministry officials, all such people presently in the blacklist will be given regular visa as well as Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cards.
Indian missions and posts abroad will no longer be required to maintain any such local lists, known as ‘Black lists’, said the Home Ministry.
All such Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) and their families who are not in the main adverse list of the government will now be granted a visa and consular services at par with foreigners of that country.
In another decision, the Home Ministry also delegated the Foreigners Regional Registration Officers (FRROs) to grant permits to foreigners to visit protected and restricted area in the country.
The state governments along with FRROs will now to be able to grant permits for travel other than tourism in areas that were hitherto restricted areas.
Some areas in North-Eastern states, Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and a few islands in Andaman and Nicobar islands are currently under restricted and protected areas. Foreigners are required to take special permissions to visit such places.