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Last Updated: Thursday, 23 September, 2004, 12:32 GMT 13:32 UK
Sikh parliament votes woman head
Bibi Jagir Kaur
Ms Kaur denies criminal allegations
A woman from the main opposition party in the north Indian state of Punjab has been elected president of Sikhdom's mini-parliament for the second time.

Bibi Jagir Kaur, from the opposition Shiromani Akali Dal party, is facing criminal charges.

She will preside over the Shiromani Gurudwara Prabhandhak Committee which controls most historic Sikh shrines and is their highest religious body.

Ms Kaur was elected president unanimously in Amritsar on Thursday.

Daughter's death

The BBC's Asit Jolly in Chandigarh says that she is currently facing trial on charges of conspiracy in the murder of her teenaged daughter, Harpreet, and is on bail.

Our correspondent says that India's top criminal agency, the Central Bureau of Investigation, is enquiring into the case.

It is alleged that she was strongly opposed to Harpreet's secret marriage to a man from her village.

"Whatever cases there are against me....be it a political or religious, are framed," she told her cheering supporters after the vote, "and we have to fight against them."

Ms Kaur has held the position as president before but was forced to step down after a row with senior priests.

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