India removed 142 alleged terrorists from a blacklist that prevented them from traveling internationally, reports the Hindustan Times.
The 142 people removed from the list include various former Sikh separatists, according to the paper. The wanted persons are believed to be living in Pakistan, the US, Canada, Norway, France and Germany.
Activists from radical Sikh organizations shout slogans in support of Sikh leader Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and Khalistan, the name for an envisioned independent Sikh state. (NARINDER NANU - AFP/Getty Images).
The Home Ministry decision follows a Delhi High Court instructing it to act on a petition that pleaded that a list of some 169 Sikhs should be reviewed, as the government's refusal to renew their passports has led to "unnecessary harassment" at different airports and embassies across the world, the paper said.
Among those removed from the blacklist is the nephew of Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale--the leader of the Khalistan movement for a separate Sikh state. Bhindranwale's nephew is now chief of International International Sikh Youth Federation (ISYF). The list also includes the heads of the Khalistan Zindabad Force, the Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) and the Khalistan Commando Force (KCF).
Throughout the 1980s, the Khalistan movement staged sporadic terrorist attacks in Delhi and the Punjab, culminating with Bhindranwale's alleged decision to store weapons and billet troops in the Golden Temple--the Sikh religion's holiest site. Prime Minister Indira Gandhi controversially sent troops to storm the site, which Sikh's claimed resulted in the desecration of the holy shrine. Soon afterward, Gandhi was assassinated by her Sikh bodyguards, triggering systematic and punitive riots in Delhi and across North India in which 2,700 Sikhs were killed, by the government's tally, and as many as 17,000 according to independent sources.
Militants from the Babbar Khalsa International were also suspected to have perpetrated the "Kanishka bombing" of Air India Flight 182 from Montreal to Delhi in 1985, which killed a total of 329 people--most of them Canadian.