The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Punjab has demanded from the state and the Union government to take up the issue of New Zealand visa holders who came to India before the Covid pandemic (March 2020) and have been stranded in India for 17 months with the authorities concerned there, as the New Zealand government closed its borders after March 19, 2020; due to which more than 500 Indians, especially the youth are suffering economically and socially. Out of which about 300 youth belong to Punjab. Therefore, the Punjab government should constitute a committee of three ministers to take up the matter with the central government.Addressing a press conference with the affected youth here on Friday, AAP senior leader and Leader of Opposition (LoP) Harpal Singh Cheema said the Government of India should take up the issue of visa holders of New Zealand with categories including Open Work Permit, Student Visa, Partner Visa, Essential Skill Visa and other categories with the New Zealand government, as they came to their country from New Zealand for some time for various reasons; but could not return back due to Covid-19 restrictions and as a result, their documents, certificates, clothes, cars and other household items are being damaged in their New Zealand homes.
Also, they have failed to pay the installments of cars, houses and other items with their economic, family and social life being affected.Harpal Singh Cheema asked the Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh to show interest in resolving the issue. He said that if the state and the Union government were serious then the youth would not be forced to struggle like this. Cheema said he had brought the matter to the notice of the Indian Ministry of External Affairs.Jagwinder Singh, a New Zealand visa holder said the New Zealand government has banned people from India, while allowing cricketers, actors, singers, nannies, other players, fishermen, artists, etc from other countries to come and go. He said the people leaving India are ready to follow all the instructions of the New Zealand government regarding Covid. On the occasion, visa holders Jagdeep Singh, Chetan, Gagan Singh, Davinder Singh, Ramandeep Kaur and Harpreet Singh were present.