AMRITSAR, Punjab, India June 22, Reuter: A top Punjab police officer said he feared a sharp rise in bomb attacks after about 25 people were killed in two blasts near Sikhdom’s holiest shrine, Golden Temple.

Chamal Lal, Police Chief of Amritsar where the attacks took place on Tuesday evening, said it signaled a change in the strategy of militants fighting for an independent Sikh homeland in the Northern Indian State of Punjab.

The victims were among 60 people, many of them Hindus, killed in northern India over the last four days in the latest upsurge of violence.

“We expect many more bomb attacks in Punjab and they would probably include car bombs”, Lal said on Wednesday.

Lal said the Tuesday blasts were caused by remote controlled, sophisticated timing devices, part of a supply acquired from abroad in May and June by the militants.

Police sources in Delhi also predicted the militants would increasingly turn to bombing “soft” civilian targets to raise tension between Sikhs and Hindus, who form the overwhelming majority of India’s 800 million people.

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Article extracted from this publication >> July 1, 1988