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May 14, 1987

Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi's government moved forcefully in troubled Punjab state, arresting 175 people in a swift crackdown less than 48 hours after imposing direct rule from New Delhi. A police official said that detained Sikh militants are being charged in connection with recent violence and intimidation of shopkeepers aimed at enforcing Sikh dietary rules and religious bans on hair cutting. Gandhi is expected to open talks with Sikh leaders on a political settlement. Militant Sikhs have called for an independent homeland called Khalistan.

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