NEN DELHI, India, May 22, Reuter: Five Sikh Head Priests today issued a stiff warning against New Delhi backed crackdown on militants in India’s Punjab State and said arrests of leaders were aimed at creating a Sikh “leadership crisis”.

The Press Trust of India (PT!) said the warning was issued in Amritsar, the Sikh holy city, where four persons including three freedom fighters were killed last night.

Another freedom fighter was also killed today in an alleged encounter with security forces in Faridkot district, south of Amritsar. Year old religion. The interference is a “threat to the very existence of the Sikh religion”, the Priests said.

Sikhs are campaigning for a separate homeland and at least 60 people have been killed this month in violence. Punjab Police Chief Julio Ribeiro, who commands more than 70,000 police and paramilitary forces, has said the situation has improved since the imposition of direct rule.

However, killings continue at a rate of two or three a day.

Article extracted from this publication >>  May 29, 1987