17 More Killed In Punjab

NEW DELHI, India, April 2, Reuter: Gunmen killed 17 more people in a Punjab wave of terror, and politicians warned that Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was close to imposing emergency tule on the northern Indian State.

A government spokesman said Gandhi was breaking off a tour northeastern India to retum to New Delhi for urgent Saturday night talks on the violence which has claimed more than 500 lives in Punjab this year.

Punjab Governor S.S. Ray was due to deliver a report on the escalating violence, the spokesman added.

He said Gandhi was expected to convene the talks immediately on his return to the capital, but declined to give other details.

In the latest incidents, three people died on Saturday and 14, including four Sikhs, were killed on Friday night.

Politicians warned that Gandhi was close to imposing emergency rule on the northern State of 17 million people, suspending civil liberties and increasing the powers of the security force.

President Ramaswamy Venkataraman on Wednesday approved a bill preparing the way for this move.

Violence has increased despite the release last month of Sikh High Priests and dozens of militants detained after the Indian army stormed the faith’s holiest shrine, the Golden Temple in Amritsar, in June 1984.

Article extracted from this publication >> April 8, 1988