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India Police Raid Sikh Temple, Arrest Three Head Priests

October 19, 1987|From Reuters

CHANDIGARH, India — Police raided the Golden Temple of Amritsar, the Sikhs' holiest shrine, in strife-torn Punjab state on Sunday and arrested three militant Sikh head priests.

The police said Savinder Singh, Jaswant Singh and Kashmir Singh were charged with sedition in their support for an independent Sikh state.

The three are hard-liners in a five-man group that exercises spiritual authority over the Sikh religion.

Last week, the hard-liners defied a government ban by calling on Sikhs to assemble for a Sarbat Khalsa (religious congregation) at the Golden Temple this Thursday--the date of Diwali, biggest festival of the Hindu calendar. At the assembly, they had been expected to oust the group's relatively moderate leader, Darshan Singh Ragi.

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