HISTORY



           
This is a Historical village. Before partition in 1947 Dera Khalsa was a village of Sikh community and total population was 300 Sikhs. The saint Attar Singh a famous Sikh preacher visited Dera Khalsa in early 20th century for propagation of Guru message. Saint Attar Singh who almost remained away from his family during his religious activities, Dera Khalsa is a place where Matta ji (Bholi Ji) mother of saint Attar Singh met him after a long time. When Attar Singh met her mother he bowed his head and humorously asked ,,mother am i engaged in some bad work? Matta Ji replied innocently, No my dear son, You are doing a very good work.
 
Professor Puran Singh was a famous Sikh poet and scientist of Sub continent in early 20th Century. He was born  at  Salhad, Abbottabad on 17th  February 1881 when his father Kartar Singh was posted there during his service in revenue department. Puran Singh belonged to  an Ahluwalia Khatri family of Dera Khalsa therefore, his ancestral home was in the village of dera khalsa. He had considerable achievements in the field of poetry and science. He died on 31st  March 1931.
         
        An other Sikh leader Master Tara Singh and Bhai Guru Singh administered Amrit(religious oath) by Santiji at Dera Khalsa. Tara Singh was also a famous leader of Sikhs during 1947. He is remembered for two things one steering Sikhs towards opting for India in 1947 and second to campaign for the state of punjab in independent India.Tara Sing vigorously campaigned against demand of Pakistan. Tara Sing during his middle education at Rawalpindi, whenever he came home (Harial Rawalpindi) on some holidays he along with several others went to have darshan of Attar Sing at Dera Khalsa. During the violence in 1947 the Sikhs opted for India and left Dera Khalsa on 08 March 1947. This was the last day of Sikhs at Dera Khalsa. The Gurdawara was burnt the same day and some Sikhs were also killed at this village. Muslims tookover the control of the village and latter on Rajput Family, Chahudary family and Kakkay Zai Family those were migrated from Jammu settled at Dera Khalsa. After 08 March 1947 the relegion of population of Dera Khalsa had been changed in to Islam instead of Sikhism due to settlement of Muslims in the village, but the name of village could not be changed due to unknown reasons. All the families shifted at this village sacrificed huge properties at Jammu on migration.





History  of Muslim -Sikh,s Relations at Rawalpindi and other areas  of Punjab

 The Muslims and Sikhs enjoyed harmonious relationship throughout the rural Punjab. They had been living for centuries door to door as good friends though they had an antagonistic historical past more deep-rooted than the Hindu-Muslim enmity. Hindu and the Muslim heroes had different regions and times while the Muslim rulers and the Sikh heroes were contemporary and in the same land. Therefore, we see a direct clash between the Muslim rulers and the Sikh religious personalities. Both the communities sought the way to live together and ostensibly they were living with the Muslims on the basis of social inter-action and interdependence. The other factors may be summarized as:

    * Saints and legacy of their teachings
    * Conversions within caste
    * Communitarian dominance
    * Feudal structure of the rural society based on economic prosperity
    * Poverty
    * Punchayat system/ village administrative system
    * Absence of political and publishing activities
    * Fear of Revenge as a mode of deterrence
    * Pure nature of friendship/brotherhood
    * Folklore

Punjab is blessed with the saints who are still esteemed by all the communities. Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims equally respect the saints like Bulleh Shah, Baba Farid Ganj-i-Shakar, Hazrat Mian Meer, Guru Nanak Dev, Shah Husain etc. The Muslim saints had much regards among all the communities who had got huge conversions to Islam and you know the issue of conversion put the Punjabi communities into an unremitting fight during the Mughal era but even then the respectable position of the Muslim saints had never been questioned in the Punjabi society. Their message of love and humanity won over the people who continued this harmony in the coming period.
The Muslims and Sikhs used to enjoy the folk stories of Heer Ranjha, Sassi Punu, Sohni Mahinwal, Mirza Sahiban, etc, sitting together sometimes for whole night. Every village had one place of sitting where all the interested people gathered and had pranks for whole night. The non-Muslims mostly joined the Muslims on the Moharram processions and other occasions like marriage or death ceremony.
The folklore of the Punjab contributed a lot to the harmonious relations between the Muslims and the Sikhs. Mahya, Tappa, Bolian, waran, jugni, Chhalla and other folk songs were owned by both and on any cultural event all the Punjabis enjoyed these folk songs together and with equal fervent.
The conversions within caste mainly the Jatts proved blessing. The Jat Muslims were sympathetic towards the Jat Sikhs who were the relatives by blood. They had changed their religions but still were brothers. It shows that the land of five rivers originally had been a liberal society and we see no persecutions or clash at the time of conversions. The cultural traditions overrode the religion in some areas of life. For example, there is no caste system in Islam and Sikhism and both believe that all human beings are equal irrespective of caste, status or colour. But both could not get rid of the traditional culture and no Jat liked (even today) to marry his daughter with a kami. The Muslim and Sikh Jatts had deep adherence to their religions but naturally were influenced more by the culture than the religions.  

The position of the Muslims and Sikhs varied in the two parts of the Punjab . The eastern areas were non-Muslim dominated while the western were the Muslim majority areas. In the eastern part, most of the Muslims were poor and if someone had a chunk of land even then he was not effective in the areas as the Western Muslim landlords were. They were psychologically under stress because by adopting the pure religious ways of life, they could be aloof from the mainstream of the social life. On the other hand, the Sikhs in the Muslim dominated areas had a fertile land in the canal colonies and were living with a sound status. They were in business, trade and the services as well. They were not Kamis here in the western parts so they had more sound position as compared to the eastern Punjabi Muslims. Anyhow, the Sikhs had been kind enough to the Muslim Kamis and the poor villagers irrespective of their religious affiliation. The financial dependence or support sometimes bound them to support the political party which the landlords liked. For example, Odham Singh of Kakkar Gill (Sheikhupura) was a pious man who used to help the Muslims and Hindus. All the communities living in his village loved him but even then all the Sikhs and the Hindus were staunch supporters of the Indian National Congress under the influence of an active Congress member Amar Singh. The Muslims impressed by the individual benign personality of Odham Singh mostly voiced for the Congress. Sidhu Sikhs of the Kundal village in Tehsil Abohar (district Ferozepore) had the same position.
The socio-economic interdependence further encouraged tolerance. Being in the same streets, mandis, fields, cultural functions and other economic activities both were bound to the mutual interests. The Chaudhri and Sardar of the villages used to help their poor village fellows irrespective of their religious affiliation. Baba Jewna recalls that Odham Singh being a wealthy zamindar of the area, used to protect honour of all the Hindu and Muslim communities of his village. For these qualities, he was called “Bapu,” by the Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims.  He had pledge to bear all expenditure of the marriage party called Barat of the poor families because he owned all the girls of the village as his real daughters. Sometimes he paid the land revenue of the poor cultivators whenever they were unable to pay the same. During the month of Ramazan (the Islamic month in which the Muslims observe fasts) he arranged Sehri and Iftari for the people who were not stable financially. He regularly attended the Eid address and appreciated the good points. According to Niamat Ali from Sikhan Kanwan Wali (Kartarpura), the Sikhs of that village were mostly Jatts and Nihangs. They were encamped into two rival groups. The Sikh Chaudhris always rendered their financial and moral support to the Muslims whenever they needed particularly on the occasion of the marriages of their sons or daughters.
The political identity and constitutional rights hit the traditional arrangements particularly in the urban areas and they observed disputes on the religious festivals but the rural areas had an ideal and peaceful life. The tradition of revenge and blood feuds of the rural Punjab kept them away from the communal violence that acted as a kind of deterrence. There was also mutual forbearance which limited conflict. Minorities tended to defer to majority community wishes in the rural setting. Unlike in the towns, conflicts over such things as music before mosques or cow slaughter were not pushed so far as to disturb the rural economic interdependence.
The Panchayat composed of the eminent persons of all the communities of a village moreover had a full and an independent decision-making authority. During the British rule, all the prominent families were declared as zaildars and numbardar/lambardars which were given administrative and judicial powers. People were satisfied as their own people were making decisions and there was no involvement of the police and courts. Any dispute between the Muslims and the Sikhs was confined to the village and due to the non-availability of publishing activities the dispute was never supposed to travel to the other cities, villages and political parties. Chaudhri Khadim Hussain Chahal recalled that once the Muslim youth humiliated the Granthi on the way which infuriated the non-Muslims but the Punchayat resolved the issue and placated the non-Muslims within an hour. Such folly was never to be quoted and repeated in future. This shows the integrity and morale of the Panchayat, the implementation of its decision and its respect among the villagers.
The tradition of ‘exchange of turbans’ was a symbol of brotherhood or friendship. Pagg (turban) was a sign of honour for all Punjabis and could end enmity even after some bloody fight. If two men of any castes or religions had exchanged their paggs (turbans) then their relationship would become stronger than the blood relations. Each could sacrifice property and even life for each. This tradition also played an important role in securing the peace of the rural Punjab .  The communitarian dominance under the religious values affected the minority life characteristics in the Punjab . The Sikhs women used to observe pardah strictly. The communitarian dominance conspicuously maintained the writ or authority of one community. The weak could not challenge the powerful. Furthermore, poverty kept the rural Punjabis engaged in the earning activities. Prosperity moves people to invest money, energies and time to the pursuits like political and civil society organizations while poverty does not let the people think above their daily needs. Therefore, the poverty kept the people busy in their own problems.

Conflict between Muslims and Sikhs
Under the natural arrangements, the position of the Muslims was hit severely because the Hindus and the Sikhs were sound financially. Religiously and socially they were much close to each other. They had no deep-rooted differences in social life as they could inter-dine, inter-marry, etc. while the Muslims were financially weak and isolated in the mainstream of life. This reality marked division of the society into two rival camps on the basis of the religious adherence.
The religion kept the two communities distinctive always far away from each other throughout the history. The concept of halal-haram, antagonistic memories, issue of Jhatka, Azan, route of religious processions, music before mosques, etc. moved them ultimately to the bitter past. The Sikhs never allowed the Muslims to touch their pots because, to them, this touch would make them religiously impure (Bhitt jana). Comrade Bishan Singh smiled and said “sometimes the Muslim class fellows deliberately touched our lunch in the school just to eat the better lunch and we had to be hungry for whole day.” Although such issues mainly hit the urban areas but the issue of Shahidganj and the Muslim demand for a separate state on the basis of religion attracted the rural masses gradually through the political conferences organized by the Shiromani Akali Dal and the all-India Muslim League which consequently influenced the rural Punjab as well.
The year 1947 brought bloody riots and the migrations started. Some Muslims and Sikhs helped the migrants while some condemned the Sikhs and mourned about what they lost during the bloodletting moves while crossing the rival community areas. None of the people (who were interviewed) called it ‘partition’ rather dangey or lutmaar. The accounts reveal the Muslims and Sikhs who were linked by the blood relationship, friendship, agricultural or business partnership, etc. did help each other and felt pains on the departure of their fellows. Mostly they requested the people of the rival community not to leave them and the village. The accounts also disclose that the people from humble background, non-Indian castes and Kamis were mainly involved in the killing and plundering. They intimidated the rivals so that they would provide them an opportunity to take away their precious belongings. Professor Khizar Virk told that they sent their Kammi to Sardar Mangal Singh Virk, head of their Sikh relatives to come to their village but they fled away to the Indian the same night. It was revealed latter when both met in the Atchison , Lahore that the Kammi said to Sardar Mangal Singh, “their Virk relatives have sent to him to give the Sikh Virks two options, accept Islam or get ready to be massacred.” Mangal Singh said that they could expect such treatment from them but under the violent wave we thought it truth and fled away.” The brutality by the non-martial castes inflicted upon the Sikhs and Muslims cannot be overlooked. The accounts sometimes show that the Muslim and Sikh hooligans attacked the women under the sexual lust. A Sikh in a village of Kasur said to the Muslim friends weeping loudly, “O brothers…. I allow my daughters to become Muslims….. For God sake, marry with my daughters…… I listen that the Muslim hooligans are raping girls…. My gherat does not allow me to move with my daughters….” Same stories are quoted by the Muslim migrants on the other hands. The Muslims most of the time don’t disclose what actually happened with their sisters and daughters so that these painful stories may not be repeated and quoted by the other people. The factors caused bloodshed can be summarized as the violent statements of the political leaders through press and the conferences, clashes between Muslims and Sikhs on the religious issues, material rapacity, exaggerated stories or rumours by the peoples and killing under the hostage theory. By the hostage theory, after listening stories of killing of the co-religionists, the rivals started killing the rivals in their areas who were not directly responsible of the killing. Many times, even friends in the rival communities became victim under this situation. A Muslim of an Arab caste from Hadyara Burky in the Lahore district told that the Sikh friends felt pain on their departure and escorted their families but when they found dead bodies of the Muslim women, children and youth on the way, the young men of the caravan decided to take revenge. When their parents came to know about their intentions they resisted but in the night dark, they went back to the same village and killed many people.
The Muslims helped the Sikhs and Hindus during the difficult time mostly by the Jat Muslims because they had been relatives. They did not like the decision of the partition but were unable to change the decision. They tried to facilitate the departing friends thinking it their moral duty. Ch. Akbar Ali Chahal from Kanganpur (district Kasur) himself escorted a poor Hindu family up to the river Satluj who in return helped many Muslims in crossing the river. When the Muslims tried to offer some money etc. to the mahtam, he refused flatly and requested them to convey his regards to Chaudhri Akbar Ali. By this, he wanted to convey a message of love and compensation. It was another picture of the partition.
The poor migrants faced mostly physical loss while the rich families lost property and the social status. The partition brought a major shift in restructuring the social status of the families in both the Punjabis. An interesting discussion I had with Sardar Ajmer Singh Sidhu and Narvair Singh. Narvair Singh expressed his feelings that MA Jinnah, Nehru and Gandhi, all were non-Punjabi, no pain they could feel on the bloodshed of the Punjabis? This statement indicates towards a major problem of leadership crisis of the region. The leadership crisis historically hit the Punjab society. The region had been victim of the incessant foreign rule which should have motivated the locals to launch a movement or leadership to awake the locals up for protest but under the peculiar situation as mentioned above none could unite the communities on the Punjab question. Consequently, no leadership parallel to Quaid-i-Azam, Nehru and Gandhi the Punjab could produce. The Punjabi leadership during the freedom movement seemed dependent on the central commands which proved catastrophic to the Punjab . The Punjab Muslim League and the Shiromani Akali Dal could not take an independent course in the crucial phase of the Indian politics.

Situation of Rawalpindi and other areas during Partition 1947 Non Muslim,s  perspective
Doctor Kirpal Singh in his biography  has described the situation of partition 1947.
        
          The trouble for the non-Muslims in general, and for the women in particular, started in March, 1947. Whatever may be the causes of the Rawalpindi and Multan riots, it is admitted that these were of terrific nature Lord Mountbatten, the last Viceroy of India, after visiting district Rawalpindi reported to the British Government in England, "The whole of the Hindu-Sikh part is an absolute wreck, as though it has been subjected to an air raid."2 Several Hindu and Sikh villages were wiped out. Justice Teja Singh, a member of the Punjab Boundary Commission, stated before the Commission that during the Rawalpindi riots, "A large number of people were forcibly converted, children were kidnapped, and young women abducted and openly raped."3 Though a separate number of female casualities is not available, the official figure of deaths in the district of Rawalpindi was 2,263 which was considered far below the actual numbcr.4 Thc womcn were subjected to maximum humiliation and torture. Their agony can be judged by the fact that a number of women jumped into wells to save their honour. It is as unbelievable today as it was at that time. But fortunately Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru visited the village on 14th March, 1947, and he was told about thc incidents of ladies jumping into wells. His staff photographer took photographs of the bottom of the well with the help of a flashlight. These photographs showed the decomposed limbs of the bodies. One copy of a photograph was given to me by late Sant Gulab Singh in whose land the well existed. He told me that his wife was the first to jump into the well. The photograph has been published in my book Shahidian.

         During the fateful months of August and September, 1947, the communal riots flared up on a very large scale in both the Punjabs. It is estimated by somc British writers that about two lakhs werc killcd in the East and West Punjab.6 Thousands of women and children were abducted. The Governments of India and Pakistan who had recently taken over from the British, had no comprehension of the enormity of the situation. The people in general were infected with spirit of vendetta, and took revenge by committing excesses on the womenfolk of the opposite community. Though Military Evacuee Organusation (M.E.O.) and Liaison Agencies had been established in both the Punjabs in September, 1947, nothing was done at Government level to alleviate the sufferings of the abducted women until 6th December, 1947, when the following agreement was made between Governments of India and Pakistan regarding recovery of abducted women: The following decisions reached at the Conference between the Governments of India and Pakistan held on the 6th of December, 1947, are brought to the notice of all concerned for early compliance:

1.      Every effort must be made to recover and restore abducted women and children within the shortest time possible.

2.      Conversion by persons abducted after 1st March, 1947, will not be recognised, and all such persons must be restored to their respective Dominions. The wishes of the persons concerned are irrelevant. Consequently, no statements of such persons should be recorded before magistrates.

3.      The primary responsibility for recovery of abducted persons will rest with the local police who must put full efforts in this matter. Good work done by Police Officers in this respect will be rewarded by promotion or grant of cash awards.

4.      M.E.O.'s will render every assistance by providing guards in the transit camps and escort for the transport of recovered persons from transit camps to their respective Dominions.

5.      Social workers will be associated with the scheme. They will look after camp arrangements and receive the abducted persons in their own Dominions. They will also collect full information regarding abducted persons to be recovered, and supply it to the Inspector General of Police and the local Supdt. of Police.

6.      The District Liaison Officers (D.L.O.s) will set up Transit Camps in consultation with the local Deputy Commissioners and public workers, and supply information regarding abducted persons to be recovered.

7.     Co-ordmation between different agencies working in the district will be secured by a Weekly Conference bet veen the Supdt. of Police, the local M.E.O. Of finer, the D.L.O. and the Deputy Commissioner. At this meeting, progress achieved will be reviewe7d, and every effort will be made to solve any difficulties experienced.

         The Chief Liaison Officer (C.L.O.) designated a D.L.O. in every district as District Recovery Officer. In this way, official machinery was established for recovery of abducted women in both the Punjabs. In the East Punjab, Miss Mridula Sarabhai and Mrs. Bhag Mehta organised women workers for recovery work. Soon it was found that the local police was not helpful. The public in general was hostile to recovery work in both the provinces. This made recovery work difficult. At places, women workers appointed by Sarabhai and Mrs. Bhag Mehta did not see eye to eye with the District Recovery Officers. All these problems resulted in inordinate delay in following quotes indicate the inherent conflict between the East Punjab Liaison Agency women workers led by Sarabhai

          As indicated above, Mrs. Sarabhai did not co-operate with District Recovery of finer.. Similarly, the C.L.O. considered women workt job as useless. In his communication to the Chief Secretary, East Pun Government, he wrote on 24th April, 1948: "Two women workers each are posted at Sheikhupura, Sargodha, Mian wali, Jhang, Lyallpur and sujranwala. A third woman worker was taker by Mrs. Bhag Mehta when we went to Mianwali. She is for recovery wori in Bhakkar Tehsil. As will be observed from what has been stated above very little work is being done in connection with the recovery of abducted women and girls throughout the West Punjab. These women worker alongwith their transport are, therefore, being practically wasted. "The matter was discussed today in a meeting of thc Stccring Committee in which Mrs. Punjabi, Mrs. Bhag Mehta and D. Surendra Nath, D.S.P East Punjab were present. It was admitted that the women workers were at present unable to do any useful work, but it was decided to let then continue as it was hoped that things will improve with the additional Eas Punjab Police starting their activities in the districts." But the task was enormous, and their time limit was short. Both began to quarrel and drift responsibility on the other organization. UllimatelyX the entire responsibility was given to the East Punjab Liaison Agency which worked uptil November, 1948. After that thc work was transferred to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

         The decision to alleviate the sufferings of womenfolk, who had suffered the most during the partition of the Punjab was, however, indifferently actcd upon. A very large volume of the correspondence between the high of finials of the East Punjab and West Punjab indicates that thc police of firers in both the Punjabs acted partially in favour of their own community while recovering the abducted women. The Deputy High Commissioner for Pakistan wrote. to the Chief Secretary, East Funjab "One .. has been to say that his daughter... aged 13 years has been kept by one... son of ... Jat of village Bhoma, District Amritsar. In reply to his request for the recovery of the girl, hc was informed by the Indian Military authorities (copy attached) that his daughter did not wish to leave her husband.''l° The D.L.O, Campbellpur, reported that the Deputy Commissioners of Campbellpur and the Rawalpindi districts were not handing over the recovered abducted women and Xirls, because they had been handed over to the Azad Kashmir Government. l in some cases, the police officers in various districts had openly declared that it was their duty to sce that proper regard was paid to public opinion. When recovered, the statements of the recovered womcn and girls were recorded and they were returned to their abductors by the District Authorities,l2 as it was said that they did not wish to leave their abductors.

          On account of the fear of disturbance, the local authorities purposely avoided taking any action against the Pathans who had abducted the girls. Five non-Muslim girls were recovered by the Sub Inspector of Phularwan, District Shahpur. The girls were brought from Phularwan to Sargodha and handed over to the D.L.O. During the night, a large number of Pathans surrounded the house of the Inspcctor and on the following day they surrounded the offices of the Supdt. of Police and created a lot of commotion in the city. The Deputy Commissioner and Supdt. of Police prevailed upon the D.L.O. to hand over the girls to the Deputy Supdt. of Police. The Commissioner, Rawalpindi Division and Dcputy Inspector General of Police reached Sargodha and with great difficulties the five girls were brought to India at dead of night.

          At places the police officers, who werc appointed to protect the women, themselves committed the worst crime. Two Assistant Sub Inspectors of Police went to recover a non-Muslim woman from a village in the Wcst Punjab and the unfortunate woman was raped and ravished by those very police officers during the nights on the way.l4 in the meeting of the officers inspector ot Police at Kamoke (I)istrict Gujranwala) had collccted all the non-Muslim girls at the time of the Kamoke train attack and distributed them to his accomplices. So far, there had been no special legislation for the recovery of abducted women. An ordinance called Abducted Persons Recovery and Restoration Ordinance was promulgated on January 31, 1949, and was subsequently replaced by the Abducted Persons (Recovery and Restoration) Act 1949. One of the principal features of this Act was that it adopted a more comprehensive definition of the term "Abducted" than the one already provided in the Indian Penal Code.16 Another important aspect of this legislation was the provision for setting up of an Indo-Pak Tribunal to decide the disputed cases of abducted women. Camps for the stay of the recovered persons were to be established. This Act applied only to the 'affected areas', viz., U.P., East Punjab, Delhi, Patiala and East Punjah States Union, and the United States of Rajasthan. A special provision was made to enable the recovery of abducted women from thc other states in India. The Coordinative officers and staff were appointed to assist the police in the recovery of the abducted persons. Social workers were also associated with this work.l7 There was, however, no corresponding legislation regarding the abducted persons in Pakistan.

          The Abducted Persons (Recovery and Restoration) Act 1949 continued to be renewed every year upto 30th November 1957. By than, the abducted women began to show increasing reluctance to go to the other country after leaving their children. By the Indo-Pakistan Govt. decision of 1954, they could not be forced to go to the other country against their wishes. Secondly, the most serious consideration which prevented the Government of India from renewing the Abducted Persons (Recovery and Restoration) Act of 1949 was the problem of the post-abduction children. During the period from January 1, 1954 to September 30, lY57 no fewer than 860 children were left behind by the Muslim women restored to Pakistan, whereas 410 children only went with them. These children created problems for the State which had to take care of them.

          The statements exchanged between the two Governments indicated that 25,856 and 9,366 person had been recovered in India and Pakistan, respectively.l9 It is a significant fact that in both the countries a large majority of persons recovered were not those included in the lists of missing persons furnished by thc respective Governments. No less than 4,415 abducted persons out of 30,335 were declared as "the non-abduction cases" by the Pakistan Government. The information regarding the abducted women supplied by the Indian Government could not be wrong as it was based on the data collected from the individuals concerned. About 4,1912l abducted per reported by Pakistan Government to have died in Pakistan. This figure, too, does not appear to be correct as the corresponding number of the abducted women who died in India was surprisingly low, viz., 3.3%
           
         The most peculiar phenomenon with regard to the recovery work of non-Muslim women was that the non-Muslim abducted girls very often refused to be evacuated. They were too afraid of the rigidity of the castc system and were conscious of having lost their chastity. These very notions prevented them from facing their relatives. Though they were completely helpless under the circumstances, some of them really believed that their husbands and other relatives had failed to protect them, and hence they had lost all rights over them. Delay was yet another major factor impeding their recoveries, because it gave their abductors the time and opportunity to din into their ears so many false and baseless rumours like "there is no food in the East Punjab", "near and dear ones had all been murdered", etc. In certain cases, the arguments of the abducted girls were very correct and genuine. One of them said to the D.L.O., Gujranwala, "How can I believe that your military strength of two sepoys could safely take me across to India when a hundred sepoys had failed to protect us and our people who were massacred." Another said, " I havc lost my husband and have now gone in for another. You want me to go to India where I have got nobody and of course, you do not expect me to change husband everyday." A third said, "But why are you particular to take me to India? What is left in me now of religion or chastity?"
       
         The troubles and tribulations of the Hindu and Sikh abducted women of occupied Kashmir, especially of district Muzaffargarh, had an altogether different tale of woe. Their recovery got complicated owing to the armed hostilities between India and Pakistan over the Kashmir issue. When the tribals attacked Kashmir, the Muzaffargarh area was the first to bc occupied by them. The Hindus and Sikhs of the area were killed and a large number of women abducted. About 1,600 women and children were lodged in Amor Camp.24 on account of hostilities with India, the Pakistan Government had banned the entry of Indian of finials not only in Kashmir but also in the adjoining districts of West Punjab.25 Consequently, all abductions of the West Punjab migrated to those districts to avoid detection. The non-Muslim women and children of Amor Camp could not be brought to India for four long years. It was reserved for Akali Chakkar Kaur Singh  to recover them and bring them to India.
         
            Akali Chakkar Kaur Singh (1892-1954 A.D.) belonged to Averha Chakkar, Tehsil Uri, District Muzaffarabad, Kashmir. He did not marry and devoted himself to missionary work of Sikh religion. During the tribal invasion of Kashmir, he lost a11 relatives including his aged mother. This stirred him into action. He went to Delhi and became guide of the first Indian army which landed at Srinagar to stem the tide of tribal invasion and remained there til cease-fire was declared. Later on, he devoted himself to the recovery of abducted women. In 1951, he met one Goodwill Mission from Pakistan convinced them about the miserable conditions of women and children a Amor Camp and was also able to secure a promise of help.
           Soon after Chakkar Kaur Singh reached Lahore, the Indian Government also encouraged him and introduced him to Pakistan officials as a grea orator having knowledge of Islam and other religions. Two police inspector! and eighteen police constables alongwith conveyance were given to him hs the West Punjab Police Deptt. Wherever he went, hostile crowd gatherer around him which was dispersed by his police escort.
           Chakkar Kaur Singh had undertaken three recovery tours in Pakis tan. Indian recovery of fixers in Lahore gave him very difficult cases like that of Amar Kaur. He pursued them with diligence and recovered the girls, detail of which he has given in his diary.28 But his most remarkable achievement wa the recovery of 1,200 women and children from Amor Camp.  Sahar Hussain, the Commander of Amor Camp, had a persona grievance. His daughter Kulzam Akhtar had been left in Srinagar (Kashmir in India. He had been trying his best to bring her to Pakistan, but no succeeded. Because of the Indo-Pakistan conflict in Kashmir, no Kashmir Muslim could go to Pakistan or come to India. When Chakkar Kaur Singh  contacted Sabar Hussain, he told him frankly that first his daughter should return before he could agree to the return of the Hindu and Sikh women and children in his camp.29 This was a very difficult problem. But Chakkar Kaur Singh took it as a challenge. After coming to India, he worked for six month: in Srinagar meeting political leaders like Sheikh Abdullah and Bakshi Ghulam Mohammed to request them to allow Kulzam Akhtar to go to Pakistan so that the Hindu and Sikh women of Amor Camp could be recovered. Ultimately, he was successful. He personally brought the Muslin girl from Srinagar to Jammu then to Jalandhar to secure her entry in Pakistan through Deputy High Commissioner, Pakistan.30 In this way, 1,200 women and children were brought to India. Where the Government of India failed, a Sikh missionary succeeded in recovering abducted women. Amid the recovery of abducted women and children, there were some very rare heartening episodes of noble deeds. Fateh Mohammed, a Muslim constable took a Sikh girl, 16 years old whose parents had beer murdered in the communal riots, to his house. While holding a copy of the holy Quran, he swore before his young daughters, wife and aged mother that he would treat the girl as his own daughter. He kept his vow and served the girl for a number of months. He made an earnest effort to locate her relations in East Punjab. Ultimately, he was able to find her brother who came to Lahore to take her, to East Punjab, she gave detailed statement as to how she was looked after by Fateh Mohammed. He statement is preserved in East Punjab Liaison Agency Records No. LV-26ES.  similarly, S. Narain Singh of Bathinda area gave shelter to a Muslin girl of tender age whose parents had been murdered during the communal riots. He got her admitted in the school along with his granddaughters. When she came of age, he was able to locate one distant relative of hers through the Pakistan High Commissioner's Office. He also prepared dowry articles for her marriage. These, he gave her at the time of farewell on the Indo-Pak border. The episode was published in the New York Times, U.S.A. vith the title Sweetest Revenge.


Comments

  1. research work is very good
    (Amar Singh Jalandar)

    ReplyDelete
  2. thanks for realistic approach................................Ravi Chandur Haryana

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

True History of Partition 1947

History of Muslim-Sikh,s in Punjab

.