CHANDIGARH India: June 29, Reuter: Police in the North Indian state of Punjab trying to halt a series of bomb attacks said on Wednesday they had seized dynamite and chemicals that could be used for bomb making.

They said the large quantity of explosive materials seized included dynamite from construction sites and chemicals from school and college laboratories.

Siddharth Shankar Ray, the New Delhi appointed Governor of Punjab, told reporters on Tuesday he had ordered school and college laboratories sealed in an attempt to prevent pilferage on chemicals that might be used to make bombs.

He said officials were also checking records to see if any dynamite had been stolen from hydroelectric project sites by militants fighting for an independent Sikh homeland they call Khalistan (land of the Pure).

Police alleged a militant group called Babbar Khalsa (Pure Tigers) planted a bomb in the Sikh holy city of Amritsar on June 21 which killed 31 people, the latest in a series of bombs in Punjab and neighboring states.

S.L. Kapur, a senior Punjab civil servant, said the government believed Babbar Khalsa was getting some of the chemicals used in its bombs from laboratories.

Ray said other measures were being taken to ensure explosives and chemicals did not fall into the militants’ hands. He did not elaborate.

More than 1,400 people have been killed in the violence so far this year, compared with 1,230

In all of 1987.

The latest deaths included three freedom fighters, one area commander of the Khalistan Commando Force group, shot dead in so called clash with security forces near Amritsar on Tuesday night police said.

They said militants also shot and killed a man and his wife near the city.

Article extracted from this publication >> July 8, 1988