Amritsar, India — Gunmen shot and killed an employee of the ruling Congress (I) Party in the Punjab Sunday, raising fears that militants might try to disrupt elections later this month, the Press Trust of India said.
The state-run news agency, quoting local authorities, said two unidentified youths gunned down Subash Chander Shingari at Adampur, about 225 miles northwest of New Delhi, and escaped on a motor scooter. Shingari was identified as an employee of the Congress (I) Party, which is preparing for elections 1n the turbulent Punjab state that are intended to end two years of federal rule.
Gunmen killed five people and wounded nine others in random attacks last week, apparently in an attempt to disrupt the elections scheduled for Sept. 25.
Militant Sikhs are bitter over a pact signed in July between the government and a moderate Sikh leader aimed at ending a bloody Sikh campaign for an autonomous Punjab, where Sikhs are a majority. Militant leaders say the pact failed to address Sikh grievances.
Some 80,000 security police have been deployed in Punjab since campaigning began, and more than 600 Sikh activists have been arrested.
About 900 candidates are competing for 117 seats in the state Assembly and 13 seats in the lower house of the national Parliament.
The elections are expected to be closely contested between the majority Congress (I) Party and the moderate branch of the Sikhs’ Akali Dal party. A militant faction of Akali Dal vowed to boycott the elections.
Security was tightened around the Golden Temple in Amritsar, the Sikhs’ ho list shrine where the United Akali Dal was to meet later Sunday to discuss the election boycott and its opposition to the duly peace pact.
Article extracted from this publication >> September 13, 1985