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Attack in a Distant Land


Time, Jun. 9, 1986

When Malkiat Singh Sidhu arrived in Canada from India to attend a family wedding, it never occurred to him to ask for police protection. 'There was no worry,' a relative explained. 'We were celebrating a wedding. It was a time for rejoicing.' But as Sidhu drove along an isolated logging road on Vancouver Island last week, he was shot and badly wounded by four men in another vehicle. Police, who later arrested four Canadian Sikhs, were treating the case as an international incident. The reason: Sidhu, 56, is the planning minister of the Indian state of Punjab and a party member of the moderate Akali Dal, which is trying to root out Sikh terrorism.

India asked Canada to make a full investigation, but it need hardly have bothered. Ever since an Air India jetliner from Toronto exploded over the North Atlantic last June, a crash in which Sikh terrorists are the prime suspects, Canadian authorities have been keeping a watchful eye on activists within their 60,000-member Sikh community.