Sikh militants, pledged to avenge the execution of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's assassins, gunned down 14 Hindus in two attacks in the north Indian state of Punjab Saturday.
In the first attack since the executions in New Delhi on Friday they shot dead 10 poor farmhands. In the second, gunmen sprayed bullets at a brick kiln, killing four workers and wounding two.Surviving relatives told reporters that in the first attack, at Baddowal 25 miles north of Amritsar, men were separated from women and children then shot dead.
Police said that three or four Sikh gunmen waving AK-47 rifles also burst into a brick kiln at Sarai Amanat Khan, near the border with Pakistan, and opened fire indiscriminately.
Police said the killings in Baddowal appeared to have been the work of the Bhindranwale Tiger Force, one of several militant groups fighting for an independent Sikh homeland they call Khalistan.
"They appear to have chosen a soft target for their first revenge attack after the executions," one senior officer said.
Punjab, like the rest of north India, was placed under tight security in anticipation of extremist attacks in revenge for Friday's executions of Satwant Singh, 24, and Kehar Singh, 54, for the 1984 assassination of Gandhi.
Police discovered two unexploded bombs in trash cans in the center of Ludhiana, a main industrial city of the north Indian state of Punjab.
Separatists set fire to a small railway station in the Sangrur district of Punjab Saturday morning. Police said no one was injured.
The Hindus killed near Baddowal were all members of one clan which settled here after the partition of the British Raj into India and Pakistan in 1947.
Shocked relatives said the militants climbed over the wall of the clan compound on Friday night. Four of them rounded up some of the women in one of the houses and demanded tea.
An unknown number of other extremists went through the remaining houses and collected all males aged between 13 and 66, took them into the courtyard and shot them with automatic rifles.