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).
Sikh communities are located in Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Tripura and West Bengal. According to a top civil servant in Uttar Pradesh, the Sikh militant struggle for the independent state of Khalistan "is fast emerging as an interstate phenomenon" (AP 20 Oct. Sikh militants are currently shifting some of their bases of operations outside Punjab due to increased police control in their home state (AP 16 Jan. Violent incidents took place in the Haryana towns of Ambala and Yamunanagar during the 1980s, as well as at other locations in Haryana (the press articles do not specify exactly where) (Xinhua 19 June 1990; 7 Dec. In March 1992, the leader of Haryana Akali Dal (the main Sikh political party) made allegations about "large scale arrests and torture of Sikhs by the police in Haryana" (SAHRDC Mar. Delhi, where Indira Gandhi was assassinated, was a major centre of anti-Sikh rioting in 1984 ( were fortified in the Indian capital after 1984, in preparation for further rioting (O'Connell 18 Sept. Attacks against Sikhs did occur after 1984, most notably in 1990 when vandals ransacked a Sikh 15 Nov. Earlier, in 1986, security was tightened during Independence Day celebrations to prevent attacks by Sikh extremists, who the police feared may have hidden among the capital's large Sikh population (UPI 15 Aug. During the 1991 national elections, many Sikhs in Delhi were worried about "the backlash from Punjab violence," as security forces were stopping cars in the capital to intercept militants from Punjab operating in Delhi ( 24 June 1991).
According to the most commonly cited estimates, about four million Sikhs live in India outside Punjab. "Kashmir Separatist Violence." (NEXIS) United Press International (UPI).
Punjab itself is home to a concentration of nine million Sikhs (AP 28 Apr. Sikh communities of various sizes are found in most Indian cities and in virtually all states. Caste divisions, degrees of orthodoxy and divergent political opinions have eroded the cohesiveness of the community as a whole (AP 28 Apr. Although life is calmer outside Punjab for many Sikhs, the increase of Sikh militancy outside Punjab has led to instances of harassment of moderate Sikhs by extremists and to greater police surveillance of the Sikh community. "Five Sikh Women Reportedly Abducted by Muslim Militants." (NEXIS) United Press International (UPI).
Moreover, isolated incidents of communal violence involving Sikhs may play a role in influencing the security conditions for Sikhs outside Punjab. "Some Indian Sikhs Hide Religion Amid Fears of Violent Backlash." (NEXIS) United Press International (UPI). "Six Die, 47 Hurt in Punjab Train Blast." (NEXIS) United Press International (UPI).
This is especially true during periods of chaos and unrest that often follow attacks by Sikh militants on Hindu targets.
Very little has been published on Sikhs residing in other cities and states in India. Uttar Pradesh was hard hit by the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, and most major cities in the state were placed under curfew at the time in order to prevent further violence (AP 3 Nov. A second bomb exploded half an hour later in a hospital where the wounded from the first attack were being brought ( 19 Oct. One month later, militants shot nine Hindu civilians near Rampur "in revenge for the death of a fellow rebel" (AP 17 Nov. There have also been reports of violations by police. At the time, an article in the noted that the agreement faced potential criticism from officials in Haryana and Rajasthan who had, in the past, opposed concessions for Sikhs.
The numerous reports on the 1984 riots, however, as well as more recent articles, reveal the presence of Sikhs in virtually all regions of the country. Police have also increased crack-downs on militants in neighbouring states in order to prevent the development of further Sikh militant activities (Pittson 8 Sept. A major incident occurred in Pilibhit on 13 July 1991 when ten Sikh pilgrims were taken into custody and shot dead by police, who later stated that the Sikhs had died in an "encounter" (Asia Watch 29 Sept. During a Hindu festival early in 1992, policemen reportedly extorted money from local Sikhs who had allegedly engaged in illicit distillation (SAHRDC Mar. The situation in Uttar Pradesh increasingly resembles that in Punjab, with more than 300 people killed in the last few months ( 21 Aug. After the anti-Sikh riots of 1984, hundreds of Sikhs from both Haryana and Himachal Pradesh fled to Punjab where, despite the uncertain security conditions, they believed that they were somewhat more protected (Reuters 2 Nov. According to Press Trust, quoted in the same article, security was tightened in Punjab, Haryana and the union territory of Chandigarh and Delhi to stop "terrorists" from "vitiat[ing] the atmosphere of good will" (25 July 1985). Today Sikhs still continue to serve in the Indian army, although representation has fallen. "Fresh Riots Kill 13 Sikhs near Indian Capital." (NEXIS) Reuters. Many Sikhs deserted the army after the attack on the Golden Temple in Amritsar ( 4 Nov. The partition of India and Pakistan in 1947, which divided the Punjab, particularly affected the Sikh community. "One Killed as Security Forces Open Fire on Kashmir Protesters." (NEXIS) Reuters. "Punjab Chief Minister Draws Support Against Priests at Rally." (NEXIS) Reuters. "Bombay Hotel Bombed After Anti-Sikh Protests." (NEXIS) Reuters. "Bombay Closes for Gandhi Funeral." (NEXIS) Reuters. 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. 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.