The following four first-hand accounts have been reproduced from the book “Muslim League Attack on Sikhs and Hindus in the Punjab 1947” Compiled for the SGPC written by S. GURBACHAN SINGH TALIB. Its freely available thanks to Voice of India.
Images in this post are of partition but not of the incidents mentioned.
Sourced from: Rare Photos Of Partition Of India, 1947 (


Statement of Shrimati Laj Wanti, widow of Shri Manak Chand Age 23 years,
caste Khatri, resident of Nurpur Sethi, District Jhelum, to the Chief Liaison
Officer, Lahore.

“My husband Shri Manak Chand was employed in the Workshop of Alkali Chemical Corporation of India, Limited at, Khewra. We were living in the quarters attached to the Company. Towards the end of Bhadon (August 1947) a Muslim mob attacked Khewra and a large number of houses were burnt. The Manager of the Alkali Chemical Corporation of India, Limited being a European, the premises of the Company were not attacked and employees and quarters in which they were living were saved. The Manager, however, asked all Hindu employees to get ready for evacuation. Accordingly, on the 6th of Asuj (beginning of September, 1947) the Hindu employees left Khewra by trucks. 6 trucks were loaded. I, my husband, my son 1½ years old, my uncle Ganda Mal, his wife Karma Wali and their small daughter 1½ years old were all in one truck. We left Khewra at about 4 p.m. and reached Pind Dadan Khan at about 4.30 p.m. We found a large number of non-Muslims collected at the railway station. It was said that the train was to leave Pind Dadan Khan and would be the last train for the refugees to leave Pakistan.
Approximately 5,000 people had collected to go in the train. Out of them between 6 to 7 hundred were women. The train left Pind Dadan Khan at 10 The train left Pind Dadan Khan at 10 p.m. on 7th of Asuj
Fifteen men of the Pakistan army were with the train as guards. We were given railway tickets for Ferozepur and Rs. 3/8/– were charged per passenger. It was said that the train would go straight to Ferozepur. The train reached Kamoke railway station at about 8 p.m. on the 7th Asuj. In the way, no water was supplied to the passengers. Even where the train stopped water was not given, as it was said that the passengers were all Hindus. No other provisions were also allowed to be purchased by the passengers for the same reason.
The train stopped at Kamoke railway station for the whole of the night. At about 8 a.m. on the 8th of Asuj Wednesday the Police came to the railway station and started searching the train. Each and every article of the passengers was searched; even the persons of the women were searched.was searched. The search continued for about two hours. 97 guns and rifles were taken away, although all of them were licensed weapons and the licences were with the owners. Even pen–knives were taken away from the passengers. All passengers were told that the guns and rifles would be returned as soon as the train would start. After the search, the passengers were asked to get into the train and their luggage into it.
When everybody had got into the train and as the engine was whistling to indicate that the train was going to start, a huge crowd of Muslims came from the side of the Mandi and factories. They were armed with rifles, chhuras, axes, as, axes, barchas and other lethal weapons. They were shouting Ya AliYa Ali and came running. They entered the compartments of the train and started butchering male passengers. The police force including the Sub–Inspector and Assistant Inspector were present at the platform and they also joined in shooting down the passengers who tried to come out of the train. The Pakistan Military made a show of firing, but their fire was directed towards the sky and not the mob and after a short while they also joined the mob in shooting down the passengers.

Those of the passengers who tried to run towards the platform out of the compartments were shot dead by the police and the military and those who went out of the compartments towards the maidan were butchered by the Muslim mob. In this way, most of the passengers were either butchered or shot dead. A few who were taken as dead after having been injured were later rescued.

The women folk were not butchered, but taken out and sorted. The elderly women were later butchered while the younger ones were distributed.

I saw an old woman who cried for water being caught hold of by her feet by a Muslim and flung twice on the ground and killed. The children were also similarly murdered. All the valuables on the persons of the women were removed and taken away by the mob.

Even clothes were torn in the effort to remove valuables. My son was also snatched away in spite of my protests. I cannot say who took him away. I was taken by one Abdul Ghani to his house. He was a tonga driver. I was kept in the house for over a month and badly used. I went to other houses to look after my son. I saw a large number of children but I was unable to find my son. During these visits, I also saw a large number of Hindu women in the houses of the Muslim inhabitants of Kamoke. All of them complained that they were being very badly used by their abductors.

After about a month it was announced by beat of drum that the Hindu Military had arrived and those of the inhabitants who had Hindu women and children in their possession should produce them at the police station. On this account, I and many other women (about 150) were produced at the police station. During the period of a month, that I stayed in the house of Abdul Ghani the members of his family and he always said that there was no food in India, the relations of all Hindu women had been killed and no one was prepared to have them back into their homes and that even Mahatma Gandhi said that there was no food in India and therefore, no women or men who had been kept in Pakistan should return to India. We were also told that all the girls who would go to India would be made to stand in line and be shot dead by the Indian Military because they were not fit for being returned to Hindu society and Hindu society was not prepared to take them back. Such propaganda was made in every Muslim house and all the women whom I met told me of it as I went from house to house in search of my son. One Muslim Mirassi named Barkat Ali who had also taken a young Hindu girl was boasting that he had with his own hands killed 50 men with his dagger and had been rewarded by the Sub Inspector of Police, Kamoke, for his valour. We were also told that we must state before the police and other authorities that we were not willing to return to India. The 150 women who were produced at the station, Kamoke, were taken in tongas to Gujranwala. Out of the women collected only 20 got up and said that they wanted to return to India. I was one of them. There were 10 children with these women. The remaining lot was put into the trucks and sent back to Kamoke by the Sub
Inspector of Police. We were then taken to the Hindu refugee camp and put into trucks which brought us to Amritsar.

My uncle, my aunt and my husband were all killed at Kamoke railway station. I have not yet been able to trace my son and the daughter of my uncle and aunt must have also been similarly killed.

The Sheikhupura Massacre

Statement of Mr. Ram Nath, Advocate, High Court, formerly of the Sheikhupura

A communal riot had never taken place in the history of Sheikhupura. It was considered a non-Muslim stronghold. The town had a majority of non-Muslims. In the District, the Muslims were 68%, Sikhs 20% and Hindus 12% according to the last census figures. But the Sikhs were the most important and formidable community in the District. They considered this district as their stronghold. The most important Sikh shrines of Nankana Sahib and Sacha Sauda was located in the District.

In these circumstances, even after the announcement of the Mountbatten Plan of the partition of India, Hindus and Sikhs did not evacuate that district. Rather, Hindus and Sikhs not only from the Rawalpindi Division but from the neighbouring districts of Gujranwala, thought it safer to come here. The tehsil and town of Sheikhupura were considered safe centres for non-Muslims.
Muslims officials and non-officials declared solemnly before and after the 15th
August they would protect with their lives the life, honour and property of the
On the 15th of August, this district of Sheikhupura had assumed an added importance. One of its citizens a lawyer of the place, Sheikh Karamat Ali, rank communalist and a member of the Muslim League High Command became a Minister of the West Punjab Government. He had his local enmities with the non-Muslims of the town, who opposed him in civic affairs and had dared defy him on several occasions.
The partition of Punjab and the option exercised by the officers had removed
every non-Muslim official. All the Magistrates were Muslims, the Police were also throughout Muslim. And above all, the contingent of the Boundary Force stationed at Sheikhupura was purely Muslim.

The Deputy Commissioner of the District was a weak-kneed, ease loving Anglo Indian.
He could be easily made a convenient tool, who while having no powers could be made to take up responsibility. It was under these circumstances that a temptation to sack the town of Sheikhupura could not be resisted.
On the evening of the 24th August, 1947 for the first time in the history of Sheikhupura a curfew order was imposed by the District Magistrate. At dead of night, a house was set on fire. The M Muslim Military watched as to who came to put off the fire so that he might be shot down. Only two men could be shot by them in this way.

The night passed in harassment. Next day on the 26th August at 2 p.m. again without any cause, curfew was imposed. The petrol pump wallas were summoned. They were ordered forthwith to give all the petrol as emergency had arisen. The whole of the day of the 23rd and 24th Muslim shopkeepers in the vicinity of Hindu and Sikh shopkeepers had been removing their merchandise to safer places.

Under Section 144 no vehicle could enter or go out of Sheikhupura without a
With the imposition of the curfew, the Magistrate (Qazi Ahmad Shafi) leading the Military started from one end of Sheikhupura known as Akalgarh and began to march through the whole of old Sheikhupura abadi. Their work was very systematic and done with military precision. They systematically killed all men and old women, abducted young girls. A second party followed looting the property and setting fire to the houses of non-Muslims. Some Hindus and Sikhs strangled their girls and threw them into wells to save them from dishonour.

In one of the places called the New Ihatas all the Hindus and Sikhs were gathered, womenfolk in one line and men in the other. Before the very eyes of the parents, brothers and husbands, the young girls began to be selected. When one of the young men objected, the whole lot of the men standing there was shot.

The worst killing took place in one of the Sikh rice factories of Sheikhupura. People were told that the firing was now over and that they should go into the refugee camp situated in that factory. They went there each with a suitcase and a bedding containing their most valuable belongings. The same occurrence was repeated at that place. Men and women were made to stand in separate lines. Women were selected after being subjected to the most insulting examination and men shot down in large numbers. Bren guns and sten guns were used for this mass murder.

At another place, people were told that they could escape if they deposited a sum of Rs. 50,000. But the two men who collected the amount and went to hand it over to the authorities never returned. The money was taken away and they were shot.

In one of the Mohallas known as Guru Nanakpura, one pucca built concrete house of a famous Hindu which could not be broken open was bombed.

This went on till 4 p.m. on the 26th August. About 10,000 men had been shot. Truckloads of girls had been removed. At about 4 p.m. that day some leaders like Diwan Chaman Lal and Sardar Bhupinder Singh Man came accompanied by Mr. Qurban Ali, the Inspector General of Police, West Punjab. They had a clue from two or three persons who managed to escape in an escorted bank lorry on the morning of the 25th. And this orgy of bloodshed was thus stopped. Out of 15,000 non-Muslims, some, about 1,500 were later gathered in the refugee camp. Some days after, when the Deputy Commissioner visited the camp, one of the Hindus well known to him dared to ask if he could stay in Pakistan. The reply of the Deputy Commissioner was, categorically
No. He further said, It is the policy of the Pakistan Government not to let any non-Muslim remain in Pakistan. They will get no protection.
This massacre of Sheikhupura had played a great part in purging Western Pakistan of its non-Muslim population.


The Hindus and Sikhs resident of Chak No. 23 W. B. requested Mohd. Hanif Shah, Superintendent, to arrange the protection of their lives and property, and the Superintendent gave full assurance that he would do his best. On 27 8 47 in the morning again it was repeated by him, they were given full assurance of their safety. But in the afternoon on that day, it has been alleged that under the instructions of the Superintendent, the Muslims of neighbouring chaks collected and the Muslims of Chak 23 W. B. were ordered to stand around the chak. They gave the Hindus the threat either that they should embrace Islam or they would be killed along with their families. They said the womenfolk would be ill treated, their breasts, ears and noses would be cut off. On this, they approached the Superintendent and reminded him of his promise. His advice was to embrace Islam and thus secure safety. So there was forcible shaving of
the head hair and beards of the Sikhs from 7 to 10 p.m. and they all had to
embrace Islam.
Note: (In some other cases, circumcision was also insisted on and performed in public)


Statement of Ram Dass Sabbarwal, Sub Inspector of Police

That I am a resident of village Chak Ramdass, Tehsil Bhalwal, District Sargodha, situated on the bank of Katch Road linking Bhera and Khushab (10 miles away from Bhera). This village was formed by Baba Dhir Mal Jee, a prophet and a renowned Guru in the annals of Sikh History. Baba Jee was related to Guru Amar Dass Jee and had his disciples throughout Western Punjab and N. W. F. Province. This village was established nearly 400 years ago and its area comprises of 6,000 acres of cultivated land owned by Hindus and Sikhs in total. A party consisting of Mohd. Bux, weaver, Anwar, Mirza Jaithal, Munshi Ahmed Din. Khawja Fazalkrim, M aqbul blacksmith, etc., etc. had been busy amongst
the local and the surrounding Musalmans in making secret propaganda to raid this small but rich Hindu village in all the four directions since the formation of Pakistan. They had collected arms and ammunition through various illegal resources at their disposal and started creating trouble for the Hindus now and then. No sooner did the Hindu officers i.e. R. B. Ch. Ram Singh, Superintendent of Police and Ch. Kewal Singh, Deputy Commissioner of Sargodha District who had set an example for creating peace, and keeping Law and Order in the District were transferred from Sargodha, these and other Muslims of the surrounding villages were at liberty to do cases of arsons and looting. They had been communicating all sorts of threats but we, on the other hand, keeping full faith in the Pakistan Government, trusting the repeated assurance given by our leaders
and believing rigidly the joint Boundary Forces and the right cause of protecting
the minorities in either Dominions, we remained sticking to our village and were
ready to face the darkest consequences like brave citizens. The situation went
from bad to worse with the passage of time.
On the 4th September, 1947, the Muslims from surrounding villages began to pour in from all sides in batches of 50 to 100 men fully armed with takwas, spears, swords and other illegal arms. We were compelled to close the doors of the village as night passed on and the number of the mob went on increasing. All the means of communication and transportation were cut off and we had absolutely no means left to ask for the help of the authorities for our evacuation and safety.
On 6th September, 1947, the Sub Inspector of Police, Bhera, visited our village
and instead of giving help in protecting us from the mob, he inspired them to kill
us and ordered us to vacate the village under no protection and shelter and left
for Bhera. The same evening, one man named Om Parkash Kapoor son of Lala
Gopi Chand Kapoor was murdered by a group of Muslims headed by Mohd. Bux
weaver of that village.
The report was sent to Sub Inspector of Bhera who accompanied by Tehsildar
came to the spot the next day to prepare the case. Not less than 15,000 Muslims had
surrounded the village when the Sub Inspector came there, but he did not make
any attempt to disperse the mob. On our request to pass a night with us for our
safety, we offered the Sub Inspector of Police Rs. 1,000 and 100 bags of wheat
to be given to Pakistan Government but he refused and returned to his Headquarters at Bhera leaving us at the mercy of fate and Almighty to protect us. During his stay at our village, he examined the dead body, prepared the case. On his way back, he once again inspired the mob to loot and butcher us.
7th September also passed with no major incident although the number of mob had increased to 20,000. We had collected all our belongings, children, ladies old and young at one central place in the heart of the village with the brave slogans “Do or Die” , the only alternative left to us. We had four guns and one rifle (all licensed) in the village with a little ammunition. Under my direct instruction, five points were fixed for our defence. On the evening of the 8th September 1947, the mob with all their full force attacked the village from the four sides. Nothing but heads of Muslims were visible and they looked like a stream of white turbans for miles and miles together on all the four sides of the
village. Three sides remained safe. Unfortunately, they succeeded in entering the village from the fourth side and set fire to the first street. My son Shree Arjan Dass was protecting at one side, S. Swaran Singh, Lambardar at another, Bhai Charan Dass and S. Iqbal Singh son of S. Gurbaksh Singh on the remaining two posts. Besides this, we had kept ready boiling water and the boiling sheeras of gur to be thrown on the raiders and heaps of pebbles and bricks for our defence. We had been defending our village at all costs and risks; my son Arjan Dass fired constantly at them so bravely from a hidden point that he repulsed them.
However, we continued our defence throughout the night and kept the enemy away from our central place. At exact 4 a.m. on the 9th September, the light of a motor car or lorry was visible passing on the kacha road. We in our single
voice, shouted for help if there is some military man. At last a European military officer, with rank of Colonel who introduced himself as Col. Gordon came before us. We heaved a sight of relief and narrated the whole story t o him. He assured us all the possible help he could afford and he did accordingly. Col. Gordon arranged for us to vacate the village. So we did at about 10 a.m. leaving behind all our belongings and property in the village.

Never Forget, Never Forgive

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