Rotorua Indian students have staged a peaceful protest in response to unrest in their home country that saw two people shot and killed by police.

About 60 students from Waiariki Institute of Technology carried protest signs throughout the central city to the Village Green raising awareness about the deaths.

Sikh community Rotorua spokesman Ravneet Singh, who was part of yesterday's local protest, said they were protesting about the Punjab Government.

"Our brothers are being killed in peaceful protest by Punjab police ... They are not supporting people and destroy our resistance and individualism and due to which humanity is suffering a lot. This is our message to people that our support is with them and as well as to [the] government who is doing this that we will not tolerate any more your behaviour or your rubbish action against Punjab."


Sikhs in the northern Indian state of Punjab have staged protests, enforced strikes and blocked roads in several towns and cities in the past week.

The spark for the current bout of protests came after a torn-up copy of Sri Guru Granth Sahib - Sikhism's holy book - was found in the village of Bargari.

The alleged desecration of the holy book angered many who came out to protest in Behbal Kalan, a nearby village, last Wednesday.

As tempers soared, police opened fired. Two protesters were killed and dozens of others wounded.

Ripudaman Singh, who also took part yesterday, told the Rotorua Daily Post the students feared for their family members in Punjab.

"Sikhs are being killed for a silent protest ... We just want justice ... We feel that our religion is not being treated the same as others such as Hinduism. We want equal rights for our religion too."