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India's human rights abuses

The editorial "Can the Center Hold in India?," March 18, says that the Indian government squashed a political rally in New Delhi in February "for the first time in recent memory."

In the Sikh homeland of Punjab, the Indian government has squashed so many political rallies during the last few years it is difficult to keep track.

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One example of this oppression is the arrest and prolonged detention of 1,200 Sikh political leaders in February 1992. They gathered together to announce a boycott of state elections under the Indian constitution.

Such repression is par for the course in the Sikh homeland. Bhog ceremonies (funerals) are commonly banned, and Sikh leaders are often arrested, tortured, and killed without due process.

Amnesty International calls India's violation of human rights endemic and regularly issues "urgent action" appeals.

The world should see India for what it really is. Too many people are blinded by the propaganda of the "world's largest democracy." Urminder S. Aulakh, Washington

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published, subject to condensation, and none acknowledged. Please fax letters to (617) 450-2317 or address them to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115.

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