74 years after Jammu Massacre, sufferings of Kashmiris continue

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Even after 74 years of Jammu genocide, when thousands of Muslims were massacred by mobs and paramilitaries led by the army of Dogra ruler Hari Singh, the sufferings of Kashmiris have not ended.

No longer under the Dogra Raj, but the condition of the Kashmiris have only gone from bad to worse under the Indian occupation army in the illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

The exact causality numbers in this pogrom in November 1947 are still unknown as the official records maintained by the Indian government did their best to suppress details of the Muslim massacre. However, conservative estimates range up to 237,000 martyred and nearly half a million forced into displacement across the border into the newly created nation of Pakistan and its administered part of Kashmir (Azad Jammu and Kashmir).

The overall impact was that the Muslims were reduced to minorities in Jammu, who previously constituted 61% of the total population. The Kashmiris around the world observe the Jammu Martyrs’ Day on November 6 every year to remember those who were brutally butchered by the Dogra forces in 1947. Prominent political activist and writer, Krishan Dev Sethi stated during an interview on December 06, 2011:

“The Maharaja and his administration played an important role in flaring up communal riots after Hari Singh arrived from Srinagar. Muslims in Jammu city were under the influence of the Muslim Conference.

Maharaja Hari Singh was ‘in person commanding all the forces’ which were ethnically cleansing the Muslims.

The Maharaja played a significant role in promoting and pampering the RSS in Jammu. Important RSS leaders like BalrajMadhok, KedarNathSahni, Vijay Malhotra and Madan Lal Khurana remained stationed in Jammu as in-charge of RSS during the 1940s. Governor Chet Ram Chopra and DIG Police, BakhshiUdhay Chand, also played a vital role.

The historians agree that massacre carried out by the Hindu ruler’s army, supported by Hindu and Sikh militias, was a “state sponsored genocide” to bring out demographic changes in Jammu.

The administration too participated in the massacre. Organized armed Hindu jathas (groups) went as far as Bhimbhar.” Currently, India maintains almost one million troops in Kashmir, making it the most militarized zone in the world, which have been involved in crimes against humanity.

Today India is following the same policy of demographic change in the Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) as adopted by Hari Singh.

After closure of Sialkot-Jammu railway line, the Muslims started concentrating in a camp an sought assistance from Pakistan to take immediate steps to ensure their safety.

Since 2019, the Indian government has altered the property rights of locals, triggering widespread suspicion among people. Kashmiris fear the new laws will change the demography of India’s only Muslim-majority region.

India’s bid to bring demographic change in Kashmir violates Geneva Conventions. Article 85(4) (a) of the 1977 Additional Protocol I provides that “the transfer by the Occupying Power of parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies” is a grave breach of the Protocol. In the wake of the 1947 partition, the Muslim subjects from different parts of Jammu province were forcibly displaced by the Dogra Army in a programme of expulsion and murder carried out over three weeks between October-November 1947.

The Dogra authorities were also reported to be issuing arms not only to local volunteer organizations such as RSS but to those in surrounding East Punjab districts such as Gurdaspur. The state authorities intended to create a Hindu majority in the Jammu region. The Dogra troopers ejected the entire population of Muslims of DulatChak on 28 November, claiming it was a part of the state.

The troops of a Sikh Brigade raided the bordering villages and forced the Muslims there to evacuate and go beyond the old Ujh riverbed.

The daily Times of London reported the events in Jammu with such front-page headings: ‘Elimination of Muslims from Jammu’ and pointed out that the Maharaja Hari Singh was ‘in person commanding all the forces’ which were ethnically cleansing the Muslims.

In mid-October, the Dogra Army troops began expelling Muslim villagers from Jammu province. The refugees were sent on foot toward West Punjab (later to form part of Pakistan), where most were accommodated in refugee camps in the districts of Sialkot, Jhelum, Gujrat and Rawalpindi.

After the closure of the Sialkot-Jammu railway line, the Muslims started concentrating in a camp from isolated pockets to the large enclaves within the Jammu Police Lines. They sought assistance from the Pakistan government to take immediate steps to ensure their safety.

In the first week of November, the Pakistan government dispatched many buses to Jammu city to transport the refugees into Sialkot. When the convoy arrived at Jammu-Sialkot road, Dogra troopers, RSS men and many armed Sikhs attacked the caravan and killed most of the passengers and abducted their women.

In Jammu province about 123 villages were ‘completely depopulated. The decrease in number of Muslims in Jammu district alone was over 100,000.

On November 5, the Dogra Army soldiers began another organized evacuation of the Muslims but instead of taking them to Sialkot, as they had been promised, the trucks drove them to forest hills of District Rajouri of Jammu, where they were executed.

The level of destruction was worst in Jammu city where Muslims were in minority. Their concentration was in Ustad da Mohalla, Pthanan da Mohalla and Khalka Mohalla. The latter was much larger than the other two combined. — Courtesy APP

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Disclaimer: 74 years after Jammu Massacre, sufferings of Kashmiris continue - Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect Latheefarook.com point-of-view

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