September 03, 2010

Jammu Massacre 1947

In 1947, Muslims were in a 61 per cent majority in the Jammu province. Horace Alexander wrote in the Spectator (January 16, 1948) that the killings had “the tacit consent of State authority” and put the figure at 200,000. On August 10, 1948, The Times (London) published a report by “A Special Correspondent”, an Indian Civil Service official who had served in the State. He wrote: “2,37,000 Muslims were systematically exterminated – unless they escaped to Pakistan along the border – by all the forces of the Dogra State, headed by the Maharaja in person and aided by Hindus and Sikhs. This happened in October 1947, five days before the first Pathan invasion and nine days before the Maharaja’s accession to India.” India was, therefore, not responsible one bit. Hari Singh was, personally. Between 1941 and 1961, the Muslim population of Jammu fell from 61 per cent to 38 per cent. Sheikh Abdullah wrote: “There was enacted in every village and town through which he [Hari Singh] passed an orgy of arson and loot and murder of Muslims. In Jammu the killing of Muslims all over the province continued unabated for weeks under his very nose. In an article entitled “Being Muslim in Jammu”, Zafar Chaudhary writes: “There was hardly any family in the region which escaped” it. Those “events permanently changed the way the Muslims of Jammu would live or think” (Economic & Political Weekly; August 23, 2008). Some decided to make peace with the BJP agitators. The BJP’s State president, Ashok Khajuria, said at a press conference on July 26: “Muslims vacate your houses... I am warning you… else, Jammu people are ready to throw you out.” On November 5 and 6, 1947, more than 100 lories, loaded with women, children and old men were taken into the wilderness of Kuthua forests. Hindu extremists and armed gangs were let loose on these innocent people and an unparallel butchery was perpetrated, killing thousands of them. Women were raped, molested and their valuables looted. All these bloodsheds were taking place in full view of the Indian army, which had by that time occupied a major part of the state. In another act of butchery, a large gathering of 25000 Muslims, in Miran Sahib and Ranbir Singhpora, were machine-gunned. During migration to Pakistan in 1947, nearly 300,000 people were massacred in cold British daily "the London Times" wrote on October 10, 1947 in a report from its special correspondent in India that the Maharaja, under his own supervision, got assassinated 237,000 Muslims, using military forces in Jammu area. The editor of "Statesman" Ian Stephen, in his book "Horned Moon" wrote that till the end of autumn 1947, more than 200,000 Muslims were assassinated.

The 1947 carnage left several Muslim majority populated villages in Jammu district alone totally Hindu or Sikh populated. In Jammu district alone, which is a part of the larger Jammu province, Muslims numbered 158,630 and comprised 37 per cent of the total population of 428,719 in the year 1941. In the year 1961, Muslims numbered only 51,693 and comprised only 10 per cent of the total population of 516,932. The decrease in the number of Muslims in Jammu district alone was over 100,000. That there was a design to change the demographics is demonstrated by another incident. Prime Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Mehr Chand Mahajan told a delegation of Hindus who met him in the palace when he arrived in Jammu that now when the power was being transferred to the people they should better demand parity. When one of them associated with the National Conference asked how they could demand parity when there was so much difference in population ratio. Pointing to the Ramnagar natural reserve below, where some bodies of Muslims were still lying, he said, "the population ratio too can change."

According to official records of the United Nations Security Council, Meeting No. 534, March 6, 1951: "Shortly after the terrible slaughters in India, which accompanied Partition, the Maharaja set upon a course of action whereby, in the words of the special correspondent of The Times of London published in its issue of 10 October 1948, "in the remaining Dogra area, 237,000 Muslims were systematically exterminated, unless they escaped to Pakistan along the border, by all the forces of the Dogra State headed by the Maharaja in person and aided by Hindus and Sikhs"."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

seems strange that the Raja would have his muslim subjects killed, as they were majority population of his rule. If anything he would have been trying to placate them not to cause rebellion in his "new" country.