India 1) Who was the President of the AISSF at Khalsa College, Amritsar, in 1987? 2) What has been the treatment of AISSF members by the police since 1987? [IND4815]

After the ban on All India Sikh Student Federation (AISSF)'s activities in March 1985, several incidents have involved its members and led to their arrest [ Catherine Heiniger and Karl Linow, Inde, (Lausanne: Office central suisse d'aide aux réfugiés (OSAR), 1988), p. 35-37, 41.]. AISSF members were detained in September 1985 in connection with the boycott of provincial elections in the Punjab [ Ibid, p. 36]. In January 1986, young Sikh radicals took control of the Golden Temple in Amritsar and members of the AISSF, among other groups, occupied the sacred compound [ H.W. Degenhardt, Revolutionary and Dissident Movements, (London: Longman, 1988), p. 157.]. Para-military troops and police forces surrounded the temple on 28 January 1986 [ «Militant Sikhs Gain Control of Golden Temple in Amritsar-Reconstruction of Akal Takht- Moderate Sikhs Convene in Anandpur Sahib», Keesing's Record of World Events, August 1986, vol. 32, p. 34562]. On 30 April 1986, a curfew was imposed and, at the beginning of June, security guards entered the temple to end occupation by Sikh militant groups [Degenhardt, p. 157.].

AISSF's members are generally presumed terrorists and for that reason are still today the target of arrests [ Heiniger and Linow, p. 41.]. Police abuse of the Sikhs has occurred in all districts of Punjab since the 1984 Golden Temple incident, followed by the assassination of Indira Gandhi [ Hazarika S. "Indian Rights group Says Police Abuse Sikhs", New York Times, 26 February 1989, p. 8.]. Police actions have been re-inforced since 1986 by the nomination of a hardliner as Punjab Chief of Police [ "Punjab Punch", The Economist, 30 August 1986.]. In May 1987, large-scale police operations throughout the Punjab led to the arrest of hundreds of suspected Sikh militants [ "Indian Government Holds Hundreds of Suspects in Punjab Crackdown", Globe and Mail, 15 May 1987, p. A10.]. It is only quite recently, on 29 July 1989, that Manjit Singh, President General of AISSF, was released after five years of detention ["Released: Manjit Singh", Asiaweek, 11 August 1989, p. 48.].