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The , first enacted in 1985, is applicable throughout India and permits the administrative detention without formal charge or trial of "persons suspected of being militants or militant sympathizers" (Asia Watch 29 Sept. Relations between Sikhs and Hindus have been generally harmonious in the past. The Sikh "radical campaign" in Punjab, however, has strained the bond between the two religions according to the Associated Press, and traditional inter-faith exchanges have drastically decreased in recent years (28 Apr. Sikhs outside Punjab do not generally encounter hostile treatment, but in the temporarily chaotic conditions that have often followed certain political events, they have become targets of indiscriminate retaliatory attacks. Sikhs and Hindus frequently intermarried, and some Punjabi Khatri Hindu families followed the tradition of raising one son as a Sikh (AP 28 Apr. In times of trouble, resentment surfaces against the Sikhs, a minority regarded as highly successful in Indian society (Kothari 1989, 450).

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Sikhs have traditionally lived in harmony with other religious groups in Bombay ( 2 Nov. As elsewhere in India, they tend to concentrate in certain occupations: they own automobile or auto parts shops, drive trucks and taxis, work in restaurants, or are carpenters or handymen. The Sikh population of West Bengal increased in 1947 due to the influx of refugees from West Punjab, which is now a part of Pakistan (Eliade 1987, 105). Over the years, the spill-over of Sikh militancy has most affected the mountainous Terai region of Uttar Pradesh (Asia Watch 29 Sept. The security situation there led the government of Uttar Pradesh to launch an "anti-terrorist drive" in November 1991 (AP 17 Nov. Sikh militants are reportedly becoming "more audacious and ruthless" in their activities. Elsewhere in Uttar Pradesh, both police and militants have been responsible for human rights violations.

The Bengali capital has a population of approximately 50,000 Sikhs, according to a 1984 estimate (Reuters 2 Nov. Most of them are concentrated in the Kalighat and Bhawanipur districts in the south-central part of the city, where there are at least two , a long established, broad-spectrum journal, is also published there (Eliade 1987, 105). Militants frequently kidnap for ransom and spread terror in Uttar Pradesh villages, causing people to flee the region ( 21 Aug. Following the killing of 29 Terai villagers, allegedly by Sikh militants, in early August 1992, members of the Uttar Pradesh legislature asked that troops be sent into the region in order to curb the militants ( 21 Aug. In 1988, Sikh militants killed a senior member of the Congress (I) party in Kanpur (AP 5 Apr. In October of 1991, extremists planted a bomb in a crowd during a Hindu festival in Ruderpur, killing 55 people. In 1985, the government of Rajiv Gandhi and the main Sikh political party reached an agreement that granted many demands by Sikh activists, among them the transfer of the city of Chandigarh to the exclusive jurisdiction of Punjab and the appointment of a special tribunal to rule on water disputes between Punjab and neighboring states.

A significant number of Sikhs resided in neighbourhoods such as Mangolpuri, Trilokpuri and Sultanpuri (PUDR/PUCL 1984, 17, 19, 21).

Many Sikhs work in the transportation and tourist industries in Delhi, and others serve in the civil service and the army (AP 28 Apr. During the 1984 anti-Sikh riots following Indira Gandhi's assassination by two of her Sikh bodyguards, some 2,150 Sikhs were killed in the capital alone, and 50,000 to 60,000 Sikhs fled the city, taking refuge in temporary camps set up around Delhi or returning to Punjab (Minority Rights Group 1989, 321; 1984, 40; Amrik Singh 1988, 425).

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Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States. Haryana and Uttar Pradesh inherited significant Sikh peasant communities from the former, much larger Punjab. In Uttar Pradesh, Sikh communities are mostly concentrated in the Nalital (125,000 Sikhs), Pilibhit (50,000 Sikhs), Rampur, Lakhimpur, Shahjahanpur, Bijnor, Saharanpur and Dehra Dun districts of the Terai region (Asia Watch 29 Sept. According to a 1988 estimate, the Terai region was, at the time, home to approximately 300,000 Sikh farmers (Amrik Singh 1988, 425). Although some violent incidents involving Sikhs in Delhi have been reported, the situation in the capital has calmed down since the 1984 riots (Wallace 17 Sept. According to , in 1984, some 300,000 Sikhs lived in Bombay (then a city with a population of seven million) (2 Nov. Another source indicates that in 1988, however, Bombay had a population of no more than 100,000 Sikhs (Amrik Singh 1988, 424). Sikh communities in Calcutta and other cities in West Bengal are reported to be sizeable. Sikhs are concentrated in several neighbourhoods, with Koliwada as the largest Sikh community in the city (Reuters 3 Nov. Other significant Sikh enclaves are found in Sion and North Dadar. Although Sikhs claim to have been present in the region since the time of Guru Nanak, founder of the Sikh religion, a number of Sikhs from the Punjab also migrated there at the time of the British Colonial Empire. In April 1991, for example, a bomb in the city's main market killed three people and wounded fifteen others.

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