NEW DELHI, India: Police has kicked off a wave of panic him by publicizing a reported tipoff that gunmen with newly acquired automatic weapons have planned attacks in the Indian capital this month.

“Security has been beefed up. We have intelligence reports of a possible attack,” a police spokesman said.

Police have increased’ patrols and checkpoints in the city where gunmen mowed down 14 people, mainly Hindus, including guests at a birthday party, on June 14.

One thousand police made a six hour, house to house search in the city’s Govindpuri district yesterday for suspected persons.

Police sources said they expected the gunmen to strike at crowded places like temples, bus and railway stations and schools.

Anxious parents rushed to take their children home early from schools yesterday after rumours of a possible attack spread. Several schools said they would close for a few days until the panic subsided:

Similar rumours are current in Chandigarh also and parents are reluctant to send their children to schools.

Police claim that attacks are aimed’ at provoking riots that would force Sikhs to flee to Punjab. About 720 people have been killed in the ongoing violence so far this year compared with 640 in all of 1986.

The Sunday Mail newspaper quoted Home Ministry officials as saying that a consignment of sophisticated automatic weapons had been received from abroad for launching the attacks.

Article extracted from this publication >>  August 14, 1987