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Start California-Amritsar flight, minorities’ panel head urged

Start California-Amritsar flight, minorities’ panel head urged

Members of the North American Punjabi Association hand over a memorandum to NCM Chairman Iqbal Singh Lalpura.



Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, November 6

A delegation of the North American Punjabi Association (NAPA), led by its Executive Director Satnam Singh Chahal, met Iqbal Singh Lalpura, Chairman, National Commission for Minorities here today, to raise the demands of the Punjabi diaspora with him.

A memorandum of the demands was presented to the chairman. The key demands included a direct flight to Amritsar from California, a check on frauds by travel agents with youths, settlement of pending property disputes of NRIs in India and issuance of Indian passports and visas to those who had previously sought asylum.

Delegation members said more than five million Punjabi Sikhs were living in California only, which was the single largest group of the Indian diaspora settled abroad. He said over six lakh Sikhs and Punjabis living in California had long been demanding direct flights to Amritsar. Chahal said the flight would also attract an equal number of dispora members residing in the adjoining Canadian state of British Columbia - especially in Vancuover and Surrey. He also said Punjabis had also been inconvenienced due to lack of direct flights between San Franscisco and Amritsar.

Chahal also raised the issue of youths who had been duped by travel agents and had landed in the US, Canada, Europe and other countries illegally. He said many such men were imprisoned there.

The delegation also took up the issue of pending property disputes of NRIs in Punjab civil courts.

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