NEW DELHL, India, March 1, Reuter: Nine people, including two Sikh freedom fighters have been killed! In troubled Punjabas a convention of diverse political leaders gathered to offer support today to the State’s embattled’ Chief Minister.

In a rare show of unity, leaders: of India’s ruling Congress (I) and Opposition parties met in Chandigarh, the capital of the northern state, and extended support to Sujit Singh Barnala, who is fighting the High Priests of the Sikh faith for retaining his control of the State government.

India’s rightist as well as Marxist leaders addressed the meeting with calls for an end to the violence that has killed 124 people this year.

The Press Trust of India (PTI) said two freedom fighters who _demand an independent homeland to be called Khalistan (the land of the pure), were among nine people killed in Punjab in the past 24 hours.

Police said unknown assailants last night raided a village near Jullundur and’ opened fire with revolver killing four people, including three members of a family belonging to the Nirankari sect.

In Amritsar, the Sikh Holy Gity, gunmen shot to death a local Congress (1) leader and hacked two brothers to death. Two freedom fighters were shot by paramilitary forces near the town of Batala.

High Priests of the Sikh faith in the Golden Temple at Amritsar have ordered all factions of the splintered Akali Dal party, traditionally the mainstream Sikh party, to disband and join a Unified Akali Dal.

But Barnala refused to quit or dismantle his own ruling faction and was excommunicated from the faith last month.

Article extracted from this publication >>  March 6, 1987