Sikh Extremists Kill Family Of Six In Night Attack
AMRITSAR, India (AP) _ Sikh extremists with Chinese assault rifles barged into a farmer’s house in the northern state of Punjab and fatally shot him and five of his relatives, a senior police official said today.
The floor in the farmer’s house in Ladho village, 21 miles from this holy city of Sikhs, was covered with blood after the killings Tuesday, senior police superintendent Sanjeev Gupta said.
The victims, identified as Bakhish Singh, his wife Kulwant Kaur and their two sons and two daughters-in-law were converts to the Sikh faith, Gupta said in Amritsar, about 250 miles north of New Delhi.
″The bodies were piled in a corner of the bullet-riddled room and utensils smeared in blood lay scattered,″ he said. A blood-soaked kirpan, the traditional sword carried by all Sikh men, lay next to Bakhish Singh, Gupta said.
Police believe seven or eight gunmen fired on the family and escaped under cover of darkness.
Sikh extremists, waging a violent war to establish a theocratic state, are known to have killed fellow Sikhs who are not sympathetic to their cause.
A total of 181 people have been killed this year in the extremist-linked violence in Punjab state, where a majority of India’s 18 million Sikhs live. Sikh extremists want to carve out an independent homeland in the agriculturally rich Punjab state and call it ‘Khalistan’ (Land of the Pure).
The separatists allege Sikhs are discriminated against by the majority Hindus and the Hindu-dominated government of India.