AMRITSAR, Punjab, Indi: March 31, Reuter: Sikh freedom fighters a bomb in a newly opened railway coach factory and fired rockets at a political leader’s home on Thursday in the North Indian state of Punjab, police and news agency reports said. The bomb went off at a new Indian railways coach factory in the Punjab industrial city of Ludhiana just before State Governor S.S. Ray was due to arrive to observe the completion of the first coach, the Press Trust of India (PTI) said.

The news agency said there were no injuries and no serious damage to the plant.

Early Thursday, five rockets were fired at the home of Jiwan Singh Umranagal, senior vice President of the main Sikh political party the Akali Dal. All missed the house, police in Amritsar said. There were no injuries.

Umranagal, whose house is about 35 km from Amritsar, has been a vocal critic of the militants who have been waging an armed campaign for an independent Sikh homeland.

Umranagal 40yearold son was killed last summer.

The Sikh leader was an associate of former Punjab Chief Minister Surjit Singh Barnala whose government was sacked last May by Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi who imposed direct rule from New Delhi on the prosperous farming state.

Police also said at least three people were killed in Punjab on Thursday. At least 485 people have been killed so far this year in violence in the State.

Article extracted from this publication >> April 8, 1988