AMRITSAR, Punjab, India: April 1, Reuter: Unknown assailants gunned down 31 people, including 18 in one village, on ‘Thursday night, capping a bloody week of violence in the Punjab.

Police said six or seven gunmen rampaged through Pangota, 50 km (30 miles) South of the Sikh holy city Amritsar, and singled out 18 Hindu men for slaughter.

Police in Chandigarh, the Punjab capital, said about nine were rounded up and killed together. The rest were shot in ones and tows around the village of about 150 houses.

 Seven people died when gunmen struck at two nearby villages in the North Indian state, while six more were killed in three separate attacks elsewhere in the State.

At least 91 people in the past week have been killed putting the death toll this year above the 500 mark.

Two days ago, President Ramaswamy Venkataraman gave assent to controversial legislation giving the government standby powers to suspend basic liberties in the State if it felt it necessary to quell the violence.

Punjab has been under direct rule from New Delhi since May last year when Prime Minister Rajiy Gandhi sacked the State’s moderate Sikh government.

Article extracted from this publication >> April 8, 1988