CHANDIGARH, India: May 6, Reuter: Gunmen shot dead seven members of a Punjab family, including five children, in a case of mistaken identity on Friday, police said.

The Gunmen shot dead Harbans Singh, his wife, three sons, and two daughters in a village in Patiala district, and killed a blind man and a labourer while fleeing, police said.

In the same district, gunmen shot dead a man and wounded a woman in a Nirankaris building.

Gunmen shot dead a police officer who was part of a force raiding a house in Ferozepur district on Thursday night: In other incidents a doctor was killed and his son wounded in Sangrur district and a farmer shot dead in Amritsar district.

The killings brought to 50 the toll this month in violence sparked by campaign for an independent Sikh nation in the northern State. More than 800 people have been killed this year.

In New Delhi, the Lower House of Parliament approved a government bill to extend direct or President’s rule in Punjab by a further six months from May 11. The Upper House gave its approval on Thursday.

Home (Interior) Minister Buta Singh, speaking at a debate on the Bill, said elections would be help in Punjab as soon as law and order improved,

Punjab was brought under direct rule from Delhi last May after its elected Sikh dominated Akal Dal Party was dismissed on grounds it had failed to control violence.

Article extracted from this publication >> May 13, 1988