New Delhi — The main Sikh political party drafted a new list of seven “‘basic demands,” and gave the government until April 13 to meet them or face agitation across Punjab state.

The list apparently supersedes the more than 40 political and religious demands put forth by the Akali Dal three years ago that brought the Sikhs into confrontation with the central government.

Leaders of the party, meeting at Anandpur Sahib, a historic place north of New Delhi, demanded the government order a judicial inquiry into the widespread anti-Sikh riots that followed the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi last Oct. 30.

The government says she was shot to death by two Sikh members of her bodyguard, and that at least 2,717 people were killed in the violence that followed. A weekly newspaper quoted Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, Mrs. Gandhi’s son who took power following her death and who was elected to the position last month, as saying he might order a probe soon into ‘‘all the violence’? Connected with Punjab.

The newspaper Sunday, whose early editions were seen Saturday, quoted Gandhi as saying in the lengthy interview that an inquiry only into the riots would ‘‘do more damage’”’ to the nation. He did not specify whether it would be a judicial or a government inquiry.

The Akali Dal, meanwhile, also demanded that all soldiers be withdrawn from Punjab, the northern state where most of India’s 13 million Sikhs live, and the release of all Sikhs arrested since the June 1984 raid on the Golden Temple in Amritsar.

Mrs. Gandhi ordered the army to enter the temple, the holiest of Sikh shrines.

Since then, the central government has run Punjab under the controversial Terrorist Affected Areas Act, and has used it to imprison more than 8,000 people. Ihe legislation establishes special courts, permits closed trials and says people accused under the act are guilty until they prove their innocence.

The Sikhs on Saturday demanded the act be repealed.

The Akali Dal, whose top leaders are in prison, also demanded amnesty for the thousands of Sikh soldiers who mutinied following the Golden Temple battle. It said they should be reinstated because they ‘“‘left their units in an emotional up surge’ sparked by the temple raid.

Also, the party demanded a halt to “continuing arrest of Sikh youths in Punjab on fabricated charges,’ and the lifting of the ban on the All India Sikh Students Federation, a radical group outlawed on charges of raising a guerrilla army.

The Sikhs also demanded greater religious freedoms, the broadcasting of prayer services from the Golden Temple, and the renaming of the Flying Mail Express train as the Golden Temple Express.

Article extracted from this publication >> March 15, 1985