Centre allows descendants of blacklisted Sikhs to visit India
In a major step towards getting the blacklisted Sikh youth back into the mainstream of the society, the Centre has agreed to allow at least the descendants of the blacklisted Sikhs to visit India. In a meeting with Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh here on Saturday, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh assured him to relook and doing away with the system of making such lists on religious lines.
The Punjab CM had on Friday raised the issue with the External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj also during a courtesy call. Alleging a serious conspiracy to disrupt the communal harmony in the state, Captain Amarinder urged the Home Minister to direct CBI and other central agencies to expedite their investigations into the cases of sacrilege and targeted killings in Punjab.
He also sought five additional BSF companies to strengthen the Indo-Pak border and also stressed the need to set up a second line of defence. The BSF deployment was needed to be strengthened on the pattern of J&K, as against the current one BSF battalion for about 32 kms in Punjab.
Citing the Fidayeen attacks at PS Dinanagar in 2015 and IAF Station Pathankot in 2016 as reasons for force augmentation, Amarinder said, "It was necessitated by the fact that the Punjab border becomes vulnerable to terrorist attacks, as well as infiltration of terrorists, arms and ammunition, and drugs from across the border in view of the heavy security at the Jammu and Kashmir border."
Seeking an immediate funding of about Rs. 206 crore for infrastructure, capacity building and manpower, the Punjab CM urged the home ministry to provide necessary funds to meet the recurring annual costs of the 2 IRB Battalions for which it had recently sanctioned Rs 51.19 crore each.
During the meeting, the Punjab CM also urged the Union Home Minister to provide additional CISF/CRPF forces to secure the high-profile prisons in the state, in the wake of spurt in troublesome incidents like the Nabha jailbreak and several gang war cases.