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Police open fire to disperse Sikh, Hindu flare-up

Police opened fire Monday on battling Sikhs and Hindus in the northern Indian state of Hariana, and authorities issued orders to shoot rioters on sight to stop week-long ethnic clashes that have killed 27 people.

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The flare-up occurred as Home Minister P.C. Sethi toured trouble spots in Hariana. The Hindu-Sikh clashes have spread to Hariana from neighboring Punjab state, scene of an 18-month Sikh campaign for religious and political autonomy. The Hariana clash has halted renewed talks between Sikh leaders and government and opposition figures.