Amritsar — Sikh militants chanted slogans in support of an independent homeland and praised the October assassins of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi during Saturday celebrations marking a major Sikh festival.
In New Delhi, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher of British told Mrs. Gandhi’s son and successor, Rajiv Gandhi, that her government would “take all steps in its power’’ to curb Sikh youth’s activities in Britain, an Indian government spokesman said.
Salman Haidar, the External Affairs Ministry spokesman, said the two leaders discussed ‘“‘the
Activities of some Sikh groups” in Britain who advocate effective action to create a separate state in Punjab for India’s more than 13 million Sikhs.
“Mrs. Thatcher assured the prime minister that her government would take all steps in its power to deal with this situation,” Haider said, giving no further details.
Mrs. Thatcher arrived in New Delhi Saturday on her nine day Asian tour and left Sunday for Saudi Arabia.
Asked just before her departure about whether the Indian prime minister planned to visit London, she said, “I hope to see Mr. Gandhi in London in October,” but did not elaborate. Her comment was an apparent reference to a visit he might make on his way to or from a proposed special United Nations session in October.
In Amritsar, radical youths disrupted a meeting organized in Amritsar’s Golden Temple, seat of the Sikh religion. They were protesting the postponement of planned agitation by the main Sikh political party.
“Traitors, get lost!” chanted the 100 saffron turbaned men as they captured the rostrum, prompting Sikh leaders to flee the stage.
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