The Forgotten Holocaust of Jammu
India has always covertly conspired and sometimes overtly orchestrated pogroms in the Muslim majority regions of India, but not many people, not even in Pakistan, know that on 6th of November 1947, the Mahraja Hari Singh’s army, Sikh militants and Hindu terrorist organization RSS killed nearly 500,000 Muslims in Jammu and forced more than one million to migrate to Pakistan.
India has always cried wolf and accused Pakistan for intervention in Kashmir through tribal militants in 1947 in a bid to cover Indian aggression and interference in Jammu and Kashmir, but the anti-Muslim violence that occurred in Jammu and Kashmir on this horrific day was nothing short of an ‘ethnic cleansing’ of Jammu’s Muslims.
India takes an unflinching and aggressive stance regarding Kashmir in international community and never fails to project Pakistan as a rogue nation which exports terrorism in the region. Reality is far from this propaganda by India. One only has to look at historical facts of pre-partition of Indo-Pak subcontinent and what transpired after the partition to realize how Indian state has been actively propagating its rule through terrorism and ruthless culture of rape and massacre.
Millions of Muslims in Hyderabad, Gujarat and Kashmir have been killed, tortured and raped to date and India’s treatment of minorities is increasingly becoming an alarming issue for the international community. In September and October 1948, soon after independence from the British Empire, around 40,000 people were brutally slaughtered in Hyderabad, Central India. Huge as this number is, it is nothing compared to the heinous massacre systematically carried out at the hands of extremist Hindus on 6th November 1947, during the great Jammu killings. It is one of the least known genocides in modern history.
One million Kashmiri Muslim refugees were uprooted and an estimated 2,500,00 – 300,000 were massacred in the Jammu region alone in August-October 1947. Due to Indian state’s connivance, it is difficult to find records of this genocide, except in the memories of the survivors, and the tales of horror they passed on to their next generations. Around 500,000 Muslims were killed with military precision. The targeted killing had already started in Jammu around mid-July 1947, and the operation got a boost immediately after a fleeing Maharaja Hari Singh reached Jammu on 26 October 1947. An organized carnage was orchestrated to kill Muslims, wherever found or spotted in Jammu.
The Dogra state troops were at the forefront of attacks on Muslims. The Indian state authorities were also reported to be issuing weapons not only to local volunteer organizations such as RSS, but to those in surrounding East Punjab districts such as Gurdaspur.
British daily ‘The London Times’ quoting its special correspondent in India, stated that the Maharaja, under his own supervision, assassinated 2,37,000 Muslims using military forces in the Jammu area.
The editor of ‘Statesman’, Ian Stephen, in his book ‘Horned Moon’ writes that till the end of Autumn 1947, more than 200,000 Muslims were murdered in one go.
Horace Alexander wrote in the ‘Spectator’ (16 January 1948) that the killings had “the tacit consent of State authority” and put the figure at 2, 00,000.
All this butchery was designed to change the demographics of Jammu valley. Both documentary and oral sources suggest that this bloodbath was nothing less than an organized holocaust of Muslims. The worst carnage took place on 6 November when Muslims in mohalla Talab Khatikan were asked to surrender, which they did. They were shifted to the police lines at Jogi Gate and encouraged to go to Pakistan. The first batch of several thousand was loaded in about sixty lorries escorted by troops. When the convoy came close to Chattha on the Jammu-Sialkot road, waiting RSS men and Sikhs attacked it. People were pulled out of the vehicles and killed mercilessly. Women were abducted and raped. Some managed to escape to reach Sialkot.
This holocaust was not possible without the collaboration of the Indian state. On this 6th November, we remember those souls who suffered at the hands of Indian imperialism and Hindu extremists. We pay tribute to the brave sons and daughters of Jammu and Kashmir and promise them that their blood will not go to waste. We vow that we will not rest till the oppressed Muslims of Jammu and Kashmir breathe the air of freedom, in sha Allah. That’s a promise.