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Say Sikh terrorists kill four

May 6, 1986

AMRITSAR, India (AP) _ Sikh separatists fired into crowds of shoppers Monday, killing at least four Hindus, and a Sikh terrorist was killed by rivals, Punjab state police said.

Sukhdev Singh Sakhira, sought by police as one of the top 10 Sikh terrorists, was shot to death by other Sikh separatists in Amritsar, said Punjab Police Chief Julius F. Rebeiro. He gave no other details, but several militant Sikh factions have been fighting for domination.

In Tarn Taran, a city 25 miles south of Amritsar, gunmen launched simultaneous attacks on shoppers at three open markets, killing four Hindus and seriously wounding four, police reported.

Authorities imposed an indefinite curfew after violent demonstrations by Hindus protesting the attack, the third fatal assault in or near Tarn Taran in four days.

On Friday, five Hindu laborers were killed when gunmen opened fire on people at a bazaar, and two people were slain Sunday when terroristed fired at a grain market on the outskirts of the city.

According to government reports, 25 people have been killed in political violence and some 450 Sikh militants arrested since troops last week raided the Golden Temple in Amritsar, the Sikh’s holiest shrine.

The raid also triggered a political crisis, threatening the survival of the state government headed by Chief Minister Surjit Singh Barnala, a Sikh moderate.

Barnala ordered the raid after extremists declared an independent Sikh state from within the temple.

Three Cabinet ministers and 12 members of Barnala’s Akalai Dal party have resigned in protest over the temple attack.

Sikhs form a majority in the Punjab, but only about 2 percent of India’s 750 million people.

In June 1984, troops attacked militant Sikhs in the Golden Gemple and more than 1,200 people were killed. The temple then was turned back to moderates, but Sikh extremists subsequently regained control.

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