CHANDIGARH, INDIA, Oct 13, Reuter: Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi inspected flood damage in the troubled North Indian State of Punjab on Thursday surrounded by armed commandos and police.

Gandhi visited Bhatinda district and Ferozepur, near the Pakistani border with Punjab, India’s only ‘Sikh-majority state.

Punjab is Gandhi’s biggest political headache because of an unabated separatist campaign. More than 2,000 people have been killed there so far this year compared with nearly 1,230 in 1987.

Punjab authorities took extraordinary security measures for the Prime Minister’s visit, declaring many roads in the State Capital Chandigarh out of bounds for local residents.

Cars were searched in most parts of the city, where Gandhi was expected to spend the night.

Floods have destroyed crops worth three billion rupees (215 million dollars) in the prosperous farming state.

Article extracted from this publication >> October 21, 1988