AMRITSAR, Punjab, India: May 19, Reuter: Indian Red Cross workers searched the Golden Temple on Thursday for corpses left from a 10day siege of the Sikh shrine that ended suddenly with surrenders and suicides in the Temple’s inner sanctum.

 Forty six Sikhs holed up in the domed and gilded Harmandir Sahib, the Golden Temple itself, heeded police warnings on Wednesday and walked out of the shrine with their hands above their heads.

Three others swallowed poison and died in the white marble sanctuary where the Guru Granth Sahib, the holy book of the Sikhs, is enshrined. Two were shot dead when they tried to escape. i.e. is a day of great relief for all Indians”, the New Delhi appointed Punjab State Governor S.S. Ray said.

The sudden surrender at about 4:40 p.m. ended the siege that began on May 9 when gunmen fighting for an independent Sikh homeland shot a senior police officer outside the Golden Temple, the Sikh faith’s holiest shrine.

“Nobody is left. All of them have come out,” Punjab Police Chief K.P.S. Gill, himself a Sikh, told reporters after the surrender.

He said Red Cross workers would search for corpses in the rooms and passengers of the 400yearold complex to avoid further inflaming Sikh sensitivities toward the police presence in the shine.

The 45 men and one woman were taken first to an open sided shed and given food and water. The wounded were treated and later all were moved to the shrine’s old kitchen building for interrogation.

Sikhs fighting for an independent homeland they call Khalistan land of the pure have stepped up their campaign since security forces laid siege to the Golden Temple in Amritsar, the holiest shrine of the Sikhdom’s, on May 9.

Article extracted from this publication >> May 27, 1988