Immigration woes

Watch: The children can stay, the parents must leave, Japanese government tells Sikh asylum-seekers

“We really don’t want to go back to India. Please give us visas.”

This Singh family in Japan are trying not to lose hope as they struggle to meet ends in a foreign country that they consider their home. Despite 50 rejections from the immigration centre, 17-year-old Gursewak Singh, who speaks fluent Japanese, has been urging Japanese citizens to support his cause. From the 1990s, he and his family have been considered asylum-seekers and now face imminent danger of detention.

The only time the government responded with a solution was in 2015, but it only further complicated their situation. For, it said that the children could stay, as long as the parents went back to India.

But the prospect of going back to their homeland Punjab only invites trauma for Gursewak’s father Bharpoor Singh. In a detailed investigative report by Reuters, Bharpoor Singh recalls how the Punjab police arrested him on false grounds of aiding a terrorist and gave him electric shocks.

It is not just traumatic but also logistically difficult for Bharpoor Singh to leave Japan, a country he considers as his own, just like his children do.

Singh fled India at the time when the Khalistan movement to establish an independent state for Sikhs in Punjab had gained momentum. It led to a series of violent events that made life difficult for the Sikh community in India (video below).

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