Thousands of supporters of the opposition Democratic Alliance Party, led by Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, marched through the streets of New Delhi on May 3, protesting the government's apparent failure to halt terrorist activities in the North Indian state of Punjab.
GV National Democratic Alliance procession with Baritiya Janata party and Lok Dal flags
CU Former Foreign Affairs Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee (centre) leading procession
GV Marchers continue procession
LV Police cordon around boat club
GV Demonstrators seated on ground listening
CU Vajpayee addressing meeting (HINDI SOT)
LV Mounted police around boat club
CU Former Prime Minister Charan Singh addresses rally (HINDI SOT)
SV & LV Demonstrators jostle police lines (2 shots)
SV PAN Demonstrators mass around police buses
SV & CU Vajpayee and Charan Singh heading for police buses (2 shots)
CU Demonstrators boarding buses
SV & CU Arrested demonstrators waving from buses as they drive away (4 shots)
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Background: Thousands of supporters of the opposition Democratic Alliance Party, led by Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, marched through the streets of New Delhi on May 3, protesting the government's apparent failure to halt terrorist activities in the North Indian state of Punjab. The Punjab, scene for many years of simmering unrest between Hindus and Sikhs, has recently become a violent battleground, with beatings and assassinations becoming a regular occurrence. Militant Sikhs, many of whom have split from the moderate Akali Dal Party, are demanding immediate religious and political concessions from Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's government. So concerned with the problem is the Indian opposition that, during the May demonstration, at least 5000 anti-government protestors deliberately courted arrest and were taken into custody by security forces. Among those eventually held by police were former Premier Charan Singh and Mr Vajpayee, as well as several parliamentary delegates from Haryana and Bihar states, plus an estimated forty members of the National Assembly. The march ended with a large rally at New Delhi's Boat Club, where the crowd cheered speeches by Vajpayee and Charan Singh.