At least 28 people were killed and scores were wounded in a series of explosions in northern India today that appeared to be a coordinated operation by Sikh terrorists, police and news reports said.
In most cases, the explosives were concealed in transistor radios, police said. Among the targets were several buses and a train.
At least 14 people were killed and 60 were injured in explosions in different parts of the Indian capital. Eight of them died when bombs went off in two crowded buses at the city’s interstate bus terminal.
H. C. Jatav, assistant commissioner of police, told reporters at the scene that the explosives were hidden in transistor radios left on the buses by two Sikh men. The two Sikhs got off the buses minutes before the explosions, he said.
Blasts were reported from 11 different parts of the city. All exit points from the capital were sealed.
Express Train Hit
A blast ripped through a coach of an express train in Meerut, 37 miles northeast of New Delhi, killing six people and injuring eight, Northern Railway officials said.
Bomb explosions claimed eight lives and wounded 18 in three towns of Haryana state north of the capital, United News of India reported.
A hand grenade strapped to the body of a Sikh terrorist exploded at a bus stand in Hissar, killing three, including the assailant, the news agency said. The blast triggered mob violence by Hindus in which 12 Sikhs were injured, police in the state capital Chandigarh said.
Three people died in explosions on two buses in Sirsa, about 140 miles southwest of New Delhi in Haryana state, United News of India reported. Two were killed on a bus in Ambala, UNI said, and, in both cases, the bombs were hidden in radios.
In Punjab, Sikh gunmen assassinated the state president of an opposition political party, touching off violent Hindu protests in the city of Hoshiarpur, state police said.
Police said that two people were killed and several injured in rioting and arson that raged in defiance of a curfew, imposed shortly after the killing of Balbir Singh, president of the Punjab chapter of the Lok Dal (Masses Party).
As many as 20 shops were set on fire and angry mobs stoned passenger buses in Hoshiarpur, United News of India said.
Balbir Singh, a Hindu and a former member of Parliament, was shot on his farm outside Hoshiarpur by assassins who then fled, the state government said.
Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi called the assassination a “cowardly act.” His mother and predecessor, Indira Gandhi, was assassinated last October, by Sikh members of her bodyguard, according to the government.
The Punjab director general of police, K. S. Dhillon, today said there had been a recent resurgence of Sikh terrorism and attributed it to the regrouping of extremists who went underground after the army assault on the Golden Temple last June. Dhillon said terrorist attacks were aimed at blocking a settlement of the three-year crisis in Punjab.
More than a dozen people have been killed recently in a resurgence of hit-and-run attacks in Punjab, where the army still is engaged in anti-terrorist operations 11 months after it was called out to flush Sikh terrorists from the Golden Temple in Amritsar, the Sikhs’ holiest shrine.