CHANDIGARH, India, April 27, Reuter: Sikh freedom fighters freed three colleagues from police custody today in Amritsar in a 10minute gun battle in which a rickshaw puller standing nearby was killed, police said.

Police in the Punjab State capital Chandigarh told Reuters at least six gunmen attacked a police party escorting the three prisoners back to jail from a court appearance in the Sikh holy city.

The victim, who was standing by his pedal powered rickshaw was killed in the exchange of fire. Two constables were injured police said. The gunmen and freed prisoners fled in two vehicles.

The gun battle with pistols, semiautomatic rifles and submachine guns took place in the city’s crowded administrative center, and bystanders including lawyers and their clients, dropped to the ground when the firing began, they said,

All the three prisoners were also Sikh freedom fighters, they said.

The shooting brought to 81 the number of people killed ‘so far this month in violence sparked by Sikhs fighting for a separate Sikh homeland in North India.

Article extracted from this publication >>  May 1, 1987