News as it appeared on the Morning Bulletin newspaper (Australia) in August, 1947.
Reports from Ludhiana, Chiniot, Jhang, Sheikhupura.
BLOOD-CRAZED SIKHS AND MOSLEMS FIGHT IN BLAZING PUNJAB CITY
LONDON, August 28.-The correspondent of the "Daily Express" at Ludhiana, East Punjab, says the 500,000 strong Moslem majority in the city of Ludhiana, which is 190 miles north of New Delhi, went up in flames today when its 100,000 Sikh population, aided by Sikh police, began an attack on Moslems.
-This correspondent states :
" I drove into Ludhiana this morning -only half an hour after the biggest single action of the Sikh war aginst the Moslems started. Wild, screaming mobs were in full control of the blazing city. The Moslems were barricaded in their homes, beating war drums and hurling; home-made bombs on the Sikh police.
*l watched Sikh mobs, aided by the police, setting fire to Moslem homes. Any Moslem who showed himself was hunted to death with every weapon from spears to Tommy guns"
The Moslems appeared to have started the battle when they left a trail of dead men and screaming women in Hindu and Sikh houses earlier-in the morning. . .
" A storm of shots met three platoons of the boundary, force. The troops, who arrived with two tanks had to onfine themselves to protecting whatever Moslem areas they could reach.
"Another battle occurred between boundary force troops and 5000 Moslems armed "with re- peater weapons, who were gathering to attack Sikh villages in the north-east Punjab district of Dasuya. The boundary force had to await the arrival of two Sherman tanks to cover its advance before the Moslems dispersed after hours of shooting."
The Daily Telegraph's New Delhi correspondent says that the administration of northern India (Hindustan and Pakistan) appears to be steadily breaking down under the strain of Punjab disorders.
The number of "refugees* drifting drifting towards Delhi and Lahore is now estimated at 500,000. Telegraphic and railway communication is disorganised. Armed bands continue to make road travel almost impossible.
Reuter's New Delhi correspondent says that Lord Mountbatten will leave for Ambala in the East Punjab tomorrow to preside at a meeting of the Joint Defence Council to consider the Punjab situation. It is understood that the Government of India proposed; to the Government of Pakistan that the Ministers of both Dominions should tour East and West Punjab in two parties.
DEATHS ESTIMATED AT 200,000
Officials estímate that about 100,000 Moslems have been killed in East Punjab since the rioting began 10 days ago, states Reuter's Lahore correspondent Sikh leaders estimate that Sikh and Hindu dead in West Punjab total a similar number.
Stories of appalling slaughter of minorities still are coming in, but lack of communication andi disturbed conditions make it difficult to obtain a picture of the situation.
It is unofficially reported that non-Moslem minorities in the towns of Chiniot and Jhang. in Lyallpur, 80 miles west of Lahore, suffered badly in recent riots.
Sikh leaders visiting Sheikhpura said their jeep had to be driven over bodies on the road outside the town as they were too numerous to avoid.
Sardar Bhuperider Singh Mann, secretary of the leading Sikh political organisation, estimated that 10,000 Sikhs and Hindus were killed there by Moslems yesterday and today. He added that thousands were burned in their homes and thousands more shot or transfixed by spears.
After a visit to Sheikhpura to evacuate refugees, Sardar Mann said that out of a total population of about 12,000 his rescue party was able to locate only about 400.