NID: INDIA: MORE SIKH VIOLENCE

Created: 2/22/1985

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

Top Secret

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More Sikl. Violence

growing Breach between moderate Sikha and tha Indian Government and sporadic violence fir Sikh eitre/niii) are complicating protpacts tor negotiation ol Sikh demands.

Gandh Sikh riot! justice to publicelped in

late

riots.

New Delhi decided lo ceia. seeing electoral gains from the art* conservative Hindi-speaking stales

tee Prime Minister stigallon ol Nitl*to barter yrs InrJepenOenl SSS Party olhciali

h backlash in lhe

v uMmce by exlrernists could force ihe government Ib halt ITS phased transfer of responsibilities for la* and order In Punjab Irom the Army to paramiliiary troops and oblige il to retmpose restrictions. The incidenls have included acis ol sabotage and attacks on two Sikh high priests who were willing toaiks with New Oelhi

The absence of conciliatory gestures Irom New Delhi and the ability of exlremists to target progovernmenl Sikns are certainarden the stance ot even moderate Sikhs. Moreover, the disarray among lhe moderates could give extremists virtual veto power over prospective tatks with the government, if Punjab were returned tutly to Army control. Suppon for lhe extremists would be likely to grow.

Singh's removal mighl placate thes who demanded his resignation tor his alleged approval of lhe Army's assault on Sikh holy places in Punjab last June. The dwindling number ot pro-government Sikhs, however, might see his replacement as an ann-Sikh gesture

Original document.

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