NEW DELHI, India -- Police were directed to shoot Sikh rioters on sight early Tuesday in Amritsar city in northern India but authorities withdrew the order a few hours later because streets were calm, the Press Trust of India reported.
The order came after Sikhs in Amritsar staged new protests and as the Indian government sought to quiet the angry religious group whose militancy has become one of India's most pressing domestic problems.
One person was killed by police gunfire during Monday's riots.
A Punjab government spokesman in the state capital of Chandigarh said the order was withdrawn as 'no untoward incident has happened till midday.'
He said paramilitary forces and armed police were patrolling the streets of Amritsar, 250 miles northwest of New Delhi, and security measures have been intensified.
'The situation is under control,' the spokesman said.
Akali party president H.S. Longowal, leading a Sikh campaign to press political and religious demands, consulted Tuesday with leaders of his party in Amritsar to decide their next course of action, the domestic news agency said.
About 6,000 militant Sikhs, released from prison under Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's order, smashed street lights, set fires and injured several constables with rocks in Monday's riots.
The shooting took place around the Golden Temple, the holiest of Sikh shrines, where several Sikh leaders reportedly took shelter to evade arrests.
The Sikhs have been campaigning for greater autonomy of Punjab, their homeland, and declaration of Amritsar as the Sikh holy city. India has rejected the demand fearing it will lead to similar action by other states.
The campaign led to arrests of some 25,000 Akali workers for defying bans on marches in the Golden Temple complex.
The Punjab government Sunday ordered the Sikh prisoners released from several jails, in response to the directive issued by Mrs. Gandhi to help defuse the crisis.