Statement made by Lt. B. W. O’Connor of 2 Marhattas.
I recovered two married ladies from a Muslim house in Chak No. 32, District Sargodha. Actually they had been taken away from the Lalian Camp by the police guard of the camp at 2 p.m. on the 31st October, 1947. On my arrival, I received reports about this abduction from their husbands and went in search of them. I searched the above chak and recovered them at about 10-30 a.m. on the 1st November, 1947. I have now brought them to the D. A.-V. College Camp. Their statements should also be taken separately if it is so desired.
Sd/- B. W. O’Connor, Lt.
Statement of Sh. Santosh Kumari, wife of Puran Nath Sethi (20) Care of Garrison Engineer, Ranchi.
My father Ch. Manohar Lal Anand, Overseer, was employed in Dandot factory at Dandot. A refugee train left Pind Dadan Khan on September 23, 1947. My parents and younger sister, aged 9. and two brothers, aged 4 and 13, and my daughter of one year, were with me in the train. This train reached Kamoke Railway Station at 6 p.m. the same day and was stopped there by the Muslim Military escort with the train. They said that there was danger ahead. They further said that the train would stop at Kamoke Railway Station for the night. We spent the entire night in the train. The Muslim escort was on the platform. Next morning at 8 a.m. Kamoke police came there and searched the train for weapons. During the night an attack was apprehended but it did not materialise, as they knew that refugees had a lot of arms and would be able to defend themselves. During the search the police took possession of all the weapons which were with the refugees. The military officer incharge of the train at first did not agree to the search and he told the police that a search would be conducted at Lahore station. Shah Didar Hussain, Sub-Inspector of Police, Kamoke, however, insisted that he must carry out the search then and there. When the search was made a lot of ornaments and cash were taken away and at this even the Military escort consented to the search. After this police, led by the said Sub-Inspector wanted to attack the train, but once again the Military officer told him that he would prevent the attack on the train. The Sub-Inspector aimed his pistol at the Military officer and made him agree to the attack on the train. At about 12 p.m. a concerted attack was made on the train by the police and military and the armed mob. The attack continued till 5 p.m. The attackers had with them knives, spears and other lethal weapons. Military and police fired at those refugees who got down from the train and tried to escape. No man was spared. Women and children were snatched away and taken to the neighbouring villages round Kamoke. A Muslim resident of Gakhar caught hold of me and dragged me out of the train and threw me on the railway platform. At this I became unconscious and when I regained my consciousness, I found myself in the house of this Muslim’s relative. When I was dragged from the train my baby girl was with my mother. When I was thrown on the platform I saw my father still alive. Only 2-3 male refugees were on the platform and the remaining had been finished. The women of the household in the house of the Muslim asked me to remove my bloodstained clothes, which I did. They gave me instead old and worn out clothes which I put on. The women left me and I went upstairs. They also tried to dissuade me from crying. After they had gone I dozed off and was awakened by a girl who came to snatch away the “dopatta” which had been given to me and was slightly better than the other clothes. After the girl had taken away the dopatta I heard noise outside the house. The Muslims entered the house and shouted to the women to take me upstairs and from there take me to the other side of the village from where the man would take me in the tonga to Gakhar. I told him that I would jump off the roof, as I was under the impression that Hindu military was there and was trying to rescue me. The neighbours told the Muslims that all the houses would be searched and as the authorities knew that I was in that house they would be able to recover me. I then myself came down and found the Muslim Leaguers blocking the door. They told me that in case I accompanied them to the camp of girls from the train I should be able to meet my kith and kin. I accompanied them to a flour mill where I was put in that room along with them. This was in the town of Kamoke. They told us that they had in their possession other children who would be delivered to us next morning, but they contradicted each other as the other denied this fact. Members of Muslim League told us that we would all be killed. They also said that we should be married to Muslims and made to live with them. They opened the door of that room and a crowd of Changars, Sweepers, and other “Kamins” of various castes came in and took away most of the girls. Only 5 to 7 were left in one corner. The, Sayed who owned the mill told us that he took strong exception to the behaviour of Muslims and that he would protect us. He told us to move into the adjoining room which was a bit dark. Then one policeman came there and said that all the girls must be returned and that they (the police) would dispose them of as they wished. Excepting 3 or 4 the rest of the girls were brought to the mill. The members of the Muslim League then started distributing the girls by handing one to each. I was sent to the house of one Mohd. Shafi, ex-Sub-Divisional Officer, Bhawalpur State and a brother of Police Head Constable Ghulam Dastgir. We were confined in that mill for 4 or 5 days and the distribution of girls took place after that. The Muslims in this period used to threaten us but did not molest us. When I reached the house of Mohd. Shafi I found his womenfolk there. Mohd. Shafi behaved nicely enough. I was married to him before I left the mill. At the time of “Nikah” I told Mohd. Shafi I had my “uncleared” other relations alive in Pakistan and also my husband and others in India and that I would wait for six months. If during this period I was riot rescued I should then continue to live there. Mohd. Shafi agreed to this arrangement. I told Mohd. Shafi my father was also in service in Bhawalpui. State. Mohd. Shafi paid due consideration to this fact. Another Hindu girl, Parkash of Dandot, was brought there and she lived with me. About two months ago the police came to the house and enquired about me. They said I should be sent to the police station to meet the Superintendent of Police. My younger brother Kanwal Nain was in the house of one Maulvi Lal Dirt. When he came to the mill one day he told me about my brother and he left my brother with me. Since then my brother lived with me until our rescue. The police asked me whether I wanted to go back to India. I told them unless my brother, mother and my daughter were rescued I should remain there. I was also interrogated by the Superintendent of Police, Gujranwala at Gujranwala. After that they brought me to Lahore. At Gujranwala where I went for my statement I was kept in the house of one Sheikh among his womenfolk and they treated me nicely. From Gujranwala I was brought to Lahore and was produced before the Inspector-General, Qurban Ali Khan. He told me that enquiry had been made from Delhi about me by somebody and if I wanted to go back, he promised he would make arrangements for my going to India. I told him that I would go to India and he should make arrangements for rescuing my mother, brother, sister and my child. He then rang up Mr. Bakshi, Secretary to the Deputy High Commissioner, who brought me from the Inspector-General of Police. I came over to the Deputy High Commissioner’s residence about 6 days back. During the days that I was in the possession of the Muslims they did not misbehave. Other girls who met me complained about bad treatment and non-provision of food and various other discomforts.
A Hindu doctor who has been converted to Islam is residing at Kamoke. Two refugees girls named Ram and Raj of Pind Dadan Khan were married to his two sons.
Parkash, the girl who came to the house in which I was confined was left there when I was called to the Police Station, as she was taking her bath. I could not inform that I was going to the Police Station where I made no mention about her. I, however, mentioned this fact to the Inspector-General of Police, Lahore.
Note:- Other statements on the Kamoke massacre appear earlier in the Appendix.
Statement of Raj Rani, daughter of L. Ganga Ram Kapur of Village Ratniwala Garla, Thana Shahdara, District Sheikhupura, dated 21-10-1947.
On the 18th August, 1947, I came to the village Babakwal with my father and other relations, for fear of life. On the 24th/25th August night about 20,000 Muslims attacked Babakwal with the help of the Muslim Military. They killed about 3,000 Hindu and Sikh residents of the town and abducted 200 Hindu and Sikh ladies. I was one of them. Myself, Lilawanti, daughter of Labha Shah and Parkash, daughter of Dayal Chand along with nine others were taken by Fateh, and he kept us in his house. He kept us there for 12 days. After that he sold us off to different persons. He sold me to Ghulam Mohd. of village Karaul. Ghulam Mohd. kept me for 1½ months. I was put to great insult and hardship. Being tired of life I sent a message to Bawa Singh of Rattanpura. Bawa Singh who had become a Muslim, paid Rs. 140 to Ghulam Mohd. and brought me to his house. About 8-9 days ago he brought me to his house with the aid of Military (Hindu) Bawa Singh brought me to Sir Ganga Ram Hospital day before yesterday, i.e., 19-10-1947 I was brought to D. A.-V. College Camp. As I was confined to bed I was spared badfeli (rape). The other girls were badly raped in my presence. The treatment is most horrible to remember.
(THUMB IMPRESSION OF RAJ RANI)
Copy of paragraph 1 of a report dated 6-10-1947 submitted by S. Harbhajan Singh, Magistrate 1st Class, Gurdaspur to the Deputy Commissioner, Gurdaspur.
“On 4-10-47, a small caravan of about fifteen non-Muslims tried to cross the bridge Ravi from Pakistan to this side. They were entrapped by the Muslim Military picket on the other side of the bridge. That caravan included four women. The male members of the caravan were murdered during the night. Our Military picket on this side of the bridge heard shrieks and cries of the victims. The Gurkha Jamadar in charge of the picket saw the women with Military (Muslim). They kept those women in their tents during the night and the military picket on our side heard their shrieks too during the night as if they were being raped. Later on those women never crossed the bridge on this side. The above facts were conveyed to the police by the Additional Police Head Constable, Ranjit Singh who is also with the police picket at the bridge. The S. H. O. verified these facts from the Gurkha Jamadar too”.
Murder and Abduction (Jhelum)
On the night between the 4th and 5th December, 1947 two non-Muslim evacuees were killed and two young girls were carried away forcibly and the property of the rest was looted near Khanpur, District Jhelum.
XVI and XVII
REPORTS OF INDIAN LIAISON OFFICERS
Sale of women
“Girls abducted from Mirpur side are sold in Jhelum city at Rs. 10 or 20 each. The local police refuses to interfere on the ground that the girls were not removed from the Punjab and also they express their helplessness because of the attitude of the armed Pathans possessing these girls. I am bringing this to the notice of the West Punjab Government but I am afraid nothing would come out of it and in our helplessness all these girls shall have to stand hardships for all their lives and suffer misery.”
Abducted Girls Sold.
According to the information received most of the girls abducted from Jammu and Kashmir States and some of the girls abducted from Gujranwala, Jhelum, Mianwali, Jhang and Dera Ghazi Khan districts are taken to the North-west Frontier Province and from there to the tribal territory. At Mansera and some other places (North-West Frontier) there are regular camps where Hindu girls are being sold.
THE MUZAFFARABAD MASSACRE.
Statement of S. Khazan Singh, son of S. Chain Singh of Village Kotli, Tehsil and District Muzaffarabad (Jammu and Kashmir State).
On the 3rd of Kartak (October, 1947) our village was attacked by the Pathan raiders who butchered all those who came across them. According to my estimate 20 persons were shot dead in the assault launched by the raiders. The rest fled away in confusion to proceed into the interior of the state to village Chakaor, in the same district. In the way they were surrounded by a mob of Afridis, who were armed with automatic weapons. The entire Hindu and Sikh population showed an intention to surrender to the raiders and were taken by them to Domel.
From other places (villages and towns) in the district of Muzaffarabad, Hindu and Sikh population including aged and young people, women, girls and children were concentrated at Domel.
They segregated the girls and the women from the males and the children. The males were then made to put off their clothes at the bank of the river near the customs post. Afridis then requested the Nawab of Boiwala to open the nefarious job of shooting down the Hindus and Sikhs by firing the first shot himself. He did so and then a general massacre ensued in which practically all of them were shot dead and thrown into the river. The least number shot down must be over 1000.
I may mention here that while travelling with the other Hindus and Sikhs, I lost my son and daughter in the jungle and Went in search of them with my wife, while the caravan was marching past. I thus, was able to save my life and was an eye witness to all this tragic incident from the top (peak) of a detached hill. Among those who were shot dead, were my two real brothers, and their 7 sons and other relations. In all I lost my 50 relatives far and near.
After the grown ups and the aged were done to death the children were butchered most mercilessly by striking them against the rocks. Afridis had earlier remarked that the evil should be nipped in the bud.
They said that if they spared the children they would grow up and be a menace for Pakistan.
I was captured by the villagers of Ranwar and taken to this village. I was converted to Islam. After 20 days some military personnel of Pakistan Army happened to visit this village and when they came to know of me, they came to me and brought me to Pattan Khurd, post office Kohalla, District Hazara. A part of the village people were in favour of my being killed while the others opposed the proposal. I spent 3 months there. They were unable to support me and on my expressing a desire to settle down in some town in Pakistan and earn my livelihood, they agreed to send me away. I was sent with two guides, a Maulvi and a resident of the village to escort me safely to Rawalpindi. They left me there and went back.
From Rawalpindi I managed to escape and travelled by train to Lahore. Here, fortunately I came to know of a refugee camp for the non-Muslims and I after a good deal of hard labour reached there.
strength of my personal observation and what I learnt from other sources,
I give below certain tips regarding location of the abducted girls:-
Abducted by Afridis out of the group that marched to Domel, 13 girls and one boy of my village viz-Kotla are with a barber of village Patan Khurd. Three girls are the daughters of one Hira Singh of my village.
Three girls of my village were abducted by the residents of my village and were given in marriage to the local Mohammadens.
Sd. Khazan Singh
From “The Hindustan Times”, Friday, April 16, 1948.
THE SACK OF RAJORI-TOWN RAZED
(From The Special Correspondent)
RAJORI, April 14 (1948) - This is the story of what happens when the raiders retreat from a town. I am writing it just as it has occurred in the old Moghul town of Rajori, known as the “Granary of Jammu Province”, and where Emperor Jehangir died on his way back from Srinagar. Our guns are still firing intermittently in the distance and the raiders are still carrying out desultory snipping and mortaring, in the nearby hills and ridges.
This is the story of the death of a town-of a horrible and ghastly tragedy which the advancing Indian troops, in spite of their best efforts, have been unable to prevent and of which they are mere helpless spectators. Here is its sequence:
First, the raiders and their officers order the inhabitants of the town to collect in the public square together with all their movable belongings and cattle.
Rumours spread to the mud-houses and streets of Rajori, where men and women sit cross-legged on charpoys. Word passes from mouth to mouth that Indian troops are advancing from Naushahra and are likely to be in the town in a day or two.
At once there are two parties among the inhabitants-one consisting of a few who want to flee in panic and the other, an overwhelming majority, who want to stick to their ancient homes and calmly await the arrival of the Indian troops.
But the townmen have no choice. Those who don’t want to collect in the town square are made to do so by the raiders at the point of the bayonet.
Then the raiders take charge of all the cattle and drive the animals into the hills. Next, Muslim inhabitants are ordered to separate themselves from the non-Muslims.
As soon as this is done, the Muslims are ordered to flee into the interior along a particular route taking their movable belongings with them in bullock carts, and the non-Muslims are ordered to form themselves into a line.
Then begins a systematic massacre of all males except those between 25 and 35 who are healthy and strong. These are formed into a slave labour gang and ordered to dig new positions for the raiders on nearby hills and ridges. The women and their belongings are distributed by the tribesmen among themselves.
Then starts the application of the scorched earth policy to the town. All houses are set fire to and those which appear capable of resisting the flames are ordered to be demolished one by one with picks and shovels. The local inhabitants (a few of whom are still hanging about the place) protest and one or two of them are shot out of hand.
Darkness is now descending and columns of smoke can be seen belching out of the town. But men of the Indian armoured column can’t do much to save the town until the infantry arrives; and from the ridges and hills, commanding the approaches to the town, the tribesmen are systematically mortaring and snipping our troops.
So there is natural delay as the Indian infantry plods across its weary way from hill to hill, from feature to feature.
The troops are making superhuman efforts to reach Rajori as quickly as possible, because they know that every second is precious now, every minute counts and every quarter of an hour may mean all the difference between life and a sordid death to many innocent inhabitants of the town. But they are unable to make any substantial advance until the morning. The gods seem to have conspired against them; darkness, terrain and an unknown route have caused the delay.
When they enter Rajori, they are just too late. The town has been razed to the ground and all that can be seen are a few mutilated corpses, including some of women and children which lie scattered.
During the last week that I have been following the advance of the Indian troops in this sector, mile by mile, yard by yard, I have seen this story repeated on a smaller and less dramatic scale in half a dozen places. I have seen it happen in Chingas, I have seen it happen near Raj Pur Saraj, I have seen it repeat itself in the innumerable clusters of hamlets which lie dotted along these hills near Rajori.
No accurate estimate of the number of people massacred here in cold blood by the retreating tribesmen is yet possible. But there can be no question that it has been a massacre on a “major scale”, and one or two people who have now managed to make their way into the Indian lines declare that the town had a population of well over 5,000 a week ago.
But the terror tactics of the raiders are having an inevitable result. They are producing hatred and revulsion against these self-styled “Islamic Liberators” even among -the Muslim population of this area. I have just been talking to Khuda Bux, a former resident of Rajori, who has managed to escape from the clutches of the raiders and he declares that the people in the area want nothing more than to get rid of the raiders.
And the Indian Army High Command has just decided to launch an intensive propaganda drive to enable the local inhabitants to save themselves from the raiders. Hurriedly prepared posters and leaflets are being dropped from the air on all nearby villages and towns asking the local inhabitants to feel and make their way to the Indian lines where they would be adequately protected.
Statement of Shrimati Chander Kanta, daughter of Bhagat Gobind Ram, aged 13, of village Choba Bhagatan, Tehsil Kahuta, District Rawalpindi, to the Chief Liaison Officer, Lahore.
My father was a teacher at Mirpur. We had left our village and had gone to Mirpur to seek shelter from the disturbances which had started in March last. When the raiders came we, the people of Mirpur ran and at Akalgarh the Muslim Military surrounded us and they sorted out young girls. Abdur Rahman captured me and took me to Sakhrana, Tahsil Kahuta. I was married to him at Sakhrana and lived with him as his wife for one month. The police visited Sakhrana and found me out and took me to Rawalpindi Camp. I was lodged in the camp at Rawalpindi for a month and ten days, when I was brought to Lahore with Pandit Nihal Chand. There are 48 girls in the Camp at Rawalpindi. The Muslims who visited the camp to meet the girls to whom they are married usually threatened them that if they go to India they would be killed by the Sikhs and Hindus and thus warned them that they should not express their willingness to be evacuated.