Niranjan Singh, a Sikh tea merchant, had served a brew to his friend, a Muslim leather worker, for decades. However, the week after he found his shop part of a new country the man came running in one morning with a gang shouting, “Kill him! Kill him!”.
One cut Singh’s leg with his sword; others killed his 90-year-old father and only son. The last thing Singh could recall was his teenage daughter being abducted and carried off on the back of “a man to whom he’d been serving tea for 15 years”.
The tea merchant’s story took place in Lahore 70 years ago in August 1947 as Muslim-majority Pakistan was carved from Hindu-majority India, dividing the region of Punjab in half. Sikhs, Muslims and Hindus.