1991 Punjab killings

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1991 Punjab killings
LocationLudhiana district, Punjab, India
Date15 June 1991
TargetPassengers on the trains; primarily Hindus
Attack type
Mass shooting
PerpetratorsSikh militants,

Coordinates: 30°52′59″N 75°51′00″E / 30.883°N 75.85°E / 30.883; 75.85

The 1991 Punjab killings was a massacre of train passengers that occurred on 17 June 1991 in Ludhiana district, Punjab state, India, where Sikh militants killed at least 80 to 126 passengers[1] travelling in two trains near the city of Ludhiana, India.


The militants stopped the two trains about a kilometre from Ludhiana station by pulling their emergency cords, triggering emergency brakes. They proceeded to open fire inside the trains, killing at least 80 passengers. Survivors stated that on one of the two trains Hindu passengers were singled-out to be shot. Attackers on this train apparently went through the train identifying Hindus and then went back to kill them, while sparing Sikhs. On the second train, the militants fired indiscriminately. After the attackers fled, the train moved back to Badduwal station, where the rescue team arrived with doctors. Local villagers helped the survivors with food, water, medicine, and mental support.[2]

The attacks came less than five hours after polling closed in a national election already marred by violence and interrupted by the assassination of Ex Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi around a month back.[2]

Later that year, in December 1991, militants killed 49 more passengers, mostly Hindu, travelling on train from Ludhiana to Ferozepur.[3]


  1. ^ "Sikhs attack India trains, killing 126". Chicago Sun-Times. 17 June 1991. Archived from the original on 15 June 2011. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
  2. ^ a b Crossette, Barbara (16 June 1991). "Extremists in India Kill 80 on 2 Trains As Voting Nears End". The New York Times. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
  3. ^ Gargan, Edward A. (27 December 1991). "49 Slain by Gunmen on Train in India". The New York Times. Retrieved 21 March 2018.

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