Sikhs Shoot Police Official’s Son to Death
CHANDIGARH, India (AP) _ Two Sikh militants on a motor scooter today killed the son of a high- ranking Punjab state police official as he drove in the town of Patiala, police said.
It was the second fatal attack on a police officer’s family in as many days and brought to at least 110 the number of people killed in Sikh violence in Sikh-dominated Punjab state this year.
Police said Manjeet Singh, 29, was driving in Patiala, about 40 miles southwest of the state capital at Chandigarh, when he was shot. His car went out of control and struck a motorcycle, killing its driver, police said.
He was the son of D.S. Mangat, inspector general for operations with the Punjab police, one of the department’s top posts.
On Monday, police Deputy Superintendent Harpal Singh and his son, Gurmeet, were killed by suspected Sikh extremists in Jallundar in central Punjab.
More than 700 people, most of them Hindus and moderate Sikhs, were killed in hit-and-run attacks in the state last year by suspected Sikh separatists demanding an independent Sikh homeland.
Sikhs make up less than 2 percent of India’s 780 million people, but form a slight majority in Punjab. They claim they face discrimination by the majority Hindus, and militant Sikhs want to establish an independent state in Punjab.
As security forces have stepped up their offensive against the militants, policemen and their families increasingly have been targeted in the Sikhs’ terror campaign.