AMRITSAR: Stores closed and buses and trucks stayed inside depots in this holy city Monday in response to a strike called by Sikh freedom fighters in Punjab state.

The All India Sikh Students Federation claimed their strike was successful throughout Punjab, but Punjab’s top police official said traffic and business functioned normally in much of the state.

K.P.S. Gill, the state’s director general of police, said there had been no reports of strike related violence.

The strike appeared complete in Amritsar, site of the Golden Temple the Sikh faith’s holiest shrine.

Although New Year’s Eve is widely celebrated in India, stores normally are open Jan. 1, since it is not an official holiday.

The Sikh students federation, which functions as the youth Wing of the movement to create a separate Sikh homeland in Punjab, called the strike to press demands for general amnesty for Sikhs arrested since 1978,

Five people were killed in the first hours of 1990, Press Trust of India reported.

Article extracted from this publication >> January 5, 1990