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Storming the Barricades


Time, Mar. 31, 1986

Photo: Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale (center), with armed entourage

Unrest in the Indian state of Punjab took a dramatic turn last week. Thousands of militant Sikhs overwhelmed police barricades and tried to storm the state legislature in the city of Chandigarh. Paramilitary police drove the rioters off with tear gas and gunfire, killing two and injuring 31.

The militants demanded the release of all Sikhs imprisoned after the Indian army's assault on the Golden Temple in Amritsar in June 1984, and reinstatement of dismissed Sikh soldiers. In the past two weeks, at least 34 people, Hindus and Sikhs, have been slain in Punjab as a result of Sikh terrorist violence.