Deputy Collector of Ferozepur during 1947 was Mr. Anokh Singh. He formed a relief committee in Moga to help the refugees arriving from West Punjab and also helped the Muslim refugees moving out of East Punjab. He decided to record the statements of the migrants and the events of communal violence gripping both East and West Punjab.
Here are excerpts from his diary:
Actions against Muslims in Moga:
In July 1947, rupees 80,000 were collected by Akali martyr squad named Khalsa Sewak Dal and RSS. On August 1, 1947, eighteen Muslim tenants were killed by the Sikhs of village Kokri. To prove their "innocence" they told the Deputy Commissioner that the violence was due to property dispute and no action was taken against them. Following day six Muslims were murdered near Ludhiana-Moga railway line. News about these events spread like wild filre and communal tension engulfed the entire area. Alomost every village were divided over the issue of attacking each other.
Muslim majority village in Athhur attacked a Sikh village and and its entire population was massacred after three days of fighting. In Pato Hira Singh village, an entire Muslim population of two hundred fifty Muslims were killed. This scale of violence spread to numerous villages. By August 23 not a single Muslim could be seen in the city of Moga and its surrounding villages.
Violence in Ferozepur:
Mob of Hindus and Sikhs was instigated by the local thanedar and patronized by Superintendent of police Mr. Kaul. By August 20th, the mob killed large number of Muslims and after three days of violence no Muslim inhabitant could be seen in the city of Firozepur.
Violence in West Punjab:
Muslim League backed by Maulvis, Khan Bahadurs, Zaildars organized violence against Sikhs and Hindus. They distributed arms to the mobs in many places. Example, aildar Muhammad Akhtar of village Taragarh in Chak 44, Pir Shergarhwala, Deputy Superintendent police of village Pato distributed arms to kill the Sikhs. In Firozewala, Zaildar Zaffarullah and Zaimndar Budde Khan and Barkat were the organizers. Muslim League's Mumtaz backed by police and military organized riots in Machiwal Chak 63. In Okara, Zaildar Abdul Wahid distributed arms amongst the rioters. In Chak 13, weapons were distributed by Roshan Din Bangu. His son Faqir Ali and his brother Nazir, Zaildar Husain Ali, Mir Ali and Maulvi from Maujeanwala.
Other people responsible for violence were Sheikhupura were Chaudhary Sadardeen, thanedar and tehsildar of Sheikhupura. Magistrate Ahmad Shafi, Abdul Ghani superintendent of police of Sheikhupura and his son Bahadur Shah zaildar of Kureshianwala were the leaders of the rioters.
About ten thousand Muslims including forty policemen in uniform having about two hundred rifles, attacked a SIkh village Ramnagar in district Gujranwala. Leader of the mob Barkat Ali, president of Muslim League. He was accompanied by Murad Ali and his brother Firoze and Cheema Zamindar of village Buraj, Atta Muhammad and Rahmat Khan of Baloke, Hiyat Khan Bahadur of Ramnagar, Hafiz Din, Hussain Muhammad of Kot Tahliwala and Muhammad Khan of Suloki. they first looted Ramnagar and then set it on fire. In Chak 187, Deputy Commissioner of Montgomery was the chief organizer of the violence.
Nearly two thousand Hindus and Sikhs were killed in Sheikhupura with the help of military and police. In the relief camps at Taragarh, the Baloch military did not provide any food to the victims for two days. They robbed them of their cash. An interviewee from Chak 13 told that Baloch military looted everything they had brought with them. In Akalgarh camp, about eight to ten girls were abducted. When the girls resistedn the Baloch military said no women will be allowed to go to India. In Chak 44 the kafila was attacked and young girls were demanded.
Violence in Khanna, East Punjab:
One eye witness Sardar Ghirdara Singh reported a brutal incident when two hundred and fifty Muslim women of Nabha reached Khanna by buses. Bus driver informed the Sikhs and Hindus living in the area about their arrival. The assembled mob attacked the women and killed nearly all of them save three young girls. The ruthless mob surrounded them, stripped them and forced them to dance before the mob. The observer noticed the mental and physical state of these girls. According to him, the girls had lost their senses and were not conscious whatever was happening to them and they "danced mechanically".
Soon these girls were raped, the youngest cried and died on the spot. The remaining two were pushed and pulled down again and again and they too were killed. This incident took place near the Christian Mission's compound in Khanna in the presence of thanedar incharge who justified this cruelty by saying that this type of suffering has been faced by our own sisters and families across the border.
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