India: The Blood Of Punjab

The Blood Of Punjab

The crackle of gunfire around the Golden Temple sounded chillingly familiar. More than 600 people died in 1984 when Indian forces stormed the holy shrine and wiped out extremists demanding independence for Sikhs in Punjab. Last week paramilitary troops besieged an estimated 70 Sikh terrorists who were again turning the temple into a fortress. After a Sikh gunman shot at police, Indian security forces returned fire and surrounded the complex. Weeklong gun battles left more than 30 dead.

Though the possibility of storming the temple was not ruled out, Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi seemed hesitant. His mother and predecessor, Indira Gandhi,...

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