AMRITSAR, Punjab, India: Feb. 20, Reuter: Gunmen killed 10 members of one family and 20 other people in a wave of attacks in Punjab during the past 24 hours, police said on Saturday.

In the bloodiest incident, Jewal Singh, his wife, four sons and two daughters were ordered out of their beds and gunned down with rifles and revolvers by a seven man group of assailants, early on Saturday.

Police said the gunmen then doused the bodies with petrol and set them on fire. Two relations of Jewal Singh were also killed.

Police said that in the same village of Sansara, 30 km from the holy city of Amritsar, they also found the body of a Sikh who had been shot dead by the same group.

Earlier reports that 11 members of a family had been killed were incorrect, police said.

The gunfire was drowned by Sikh hymns blaring over a loudspeaker in a neighbor’s house but the fire alerted a police patrol, police said.

They described the attack on the family as a “revenge killing” of suspected police informers who are fighting for a separate Sikh state in Punjab.

Police said that in the latest attack, two people were killed when gunmen sprayed a bus stop with bullets near Amritsar on Saturday morning.

About 200 people have been killed in the violence in Punjab this year a rate far higher than last year. When the toll reached nearly 1.200.

In an unrelated incident in Punjab on Friday night, two Hindu brick kiln laborers were shot dead at Baini Gillan village, 15 km from Amritsar, police said

One man died from injuries suffered in a bomb blast in Gurdaspur in the morning, to raise to 10 the toll in a series of bomb attacks at courts in the State on Friday. Three of the victims died in Punjab’s Patiala district, where a bank guard was also shot dead

On the same day, the gunmen shot and killed two people in another part of Patiala and two in nearby Sangrur district, which has seen little violence in the past year.

Article extracted from this publication >> February 26, 1988