CHANDIGARH India, April 4, Reuter: India has sent 3,000 soldiers from an elite paramilitary force to curb Sikh freedom fighters in Punjab.

The government in Delhi also increased patrols along the Indo Pakistan border as it considers imposing emergency rule in the State, police said on Monday.

Police in Chandigarh, capital of the north Indian State, said 37 companies of the Indo Tibetian border police have been rushed to. Punjab in the last week.

India has accused Pakistan of supplying arms to Sikh freedom fighters leading to the massacre of more than 500 people in a wave of terror in the last three months that included the use of shoulder fired rockets. Islamabad denies the charge.

The Times of India newspaper said on Monday that India had sealed its border with Pakistan, ordered round the clock patrols and stepped up searches of villages to prevent arms smuggling across the border.

India’s external affairs and defense ministry spokesman declined to comment immediately on the report.

Politicians said Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was close to imposing emergency rule in the state after the release last month of Sikh High Priests and dozens of militants, as a new political initiative failed to check the attacks.

The move would suspend civil liberties in the State of 17 million people. Similar restrictions imposed on the whole of India by Gandhi’s mother, Indira, between 1975 and 1977 led to her fall from power in 1977.

Article extracted from this publication >> April 8, 1988