The troubled state of Punjab was quiet on October 7 after the Indian Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi, dismissed her own Congress (I) Party, which rules the state, and placed the area under direct presidential rule form New Delhi.
GV Golden Temple by lakeside.
GV & SVs Shops closed in Amritsar Market. (3 SHOTS)
GV PAN Idle buses at closed depot.
SVs Family members of victim Rajinder Sharma. (2 SHOTS)
SV Relatives of another victim, Raj Pal Ghai, one showing photograph of victim. (6 SHOTS)
SVs Military patrolling streets. (3 SHOTS)
SV Police checking buses on national highway.
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Background: The troubled state of Punjab was quiet on October 7 after the Indian Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi, dismissed her own Congress (I) Party, which rules the state, and placed the area under direct presidential rule form New Delhi. She also appointed a new Governor and announced a series of decrees to curb violence after declaring it a "disturbed" area. The institution of presidential rule gives paramilitary forces and police powers to search and arrest without a warrant and to open fire on trouble-makers. Several thousand security forces entered the northern state on October 6 and 7 to keep order. Meanwhile the families of eight Hindus killed by Sikh extremists on October 5 were in mourning. The eight died in a bus ambush a Sikh terrorist squad. In protest against the killings Hindu political parties called a strike that brought the Punjab city, Amritsar, to a standstill on October 7. Offices, schools and business remained closed in most parts of the state. There were not reports of violence. Amritsar, headquarters of Sikh religious leaders, has been the worst his in the Sikh terrorist struggle for political autonomy for Punjab. In the past fourteen months at least 200 people have died in violence that began when Sikh extremists launched a concerted campaign for political and religious autonomy. Although most political parties, including the Sikh's have welcomed temporary presidential rule, Mrs Gandhi is now faced with the task of taking action to control terrorism without provoking a religious war. Her immediate problem is said to be that of deciding whether or not to storm the Golden Temple in Amritsar, which has become headquarters of Sikh militants. Over the past three years agitators have been using the temple as a base. Intelligence reports claim many wanted terrorists and assassins have been hiding inside, armed with a store of sophisticated weapons.