1947 Mirpur massacre
The 1947 Mirpur Massacre was the killing of thousands of Hindu and Sikh refugees in Mirpur of today's Azad Kashmir, by armed Pakistani tribesmen and soldiers during the First Kashmir War. It occurred on and after November 25.[a][b]
Soon after British India's independence, a rebellion occurred in Poonch and Mirpur districts, and the Pakistani Army conceived a military plan to invade Jammu and Kashmir. The military campaign was said to be code-named "Operation Gulmarg", and it was reportedly assisted and guided by British military officers.
Before the Kashmir War in 1947, the Mirpur District had about 75,000 Hindu and Sikhs, amounting to 20 percent of the population. A great majority of them lived in the principal towns of Mirpur, Kotli and Bhimber. Refugees from Jhelum in Western Punjab had taken refuge in Mirpur town, causing the non-Muslim population to increase to 25,000.
During the war, militants entered the city on the morning of November 25 and set several parts of the city on fire, causing chaos and turmoil across the city. Large-scale rioting took place. Of the minority population, only about 2,500 Hindus or Sikhs escaped to the Jammu and Kashmir along with the State troops. Many Hindus and Sikhs were also killed inside the small town of Chitterpari. The remainder were marched to Alibeg, where a gurdwara was converted into a prison camp, but the raiders killed 10,000 of the captives along the way and abducted 5,000 women. Only about 5,000 made it to Alibeg, but they continued to be killed at a gradual pace by the captors. Hindu and Sikh women were raped and abducted. Many number of women committed mass suicide by consuming poison before falling into the hands of the militants, to avoid rape and abduction. Men also committed suicide. The estimates measure the death toll at over 20,000.
“A 'greatly shocked’ Sardar Muhammad Ibrahim Khan”, the then president of Azad Kashmir, who visited the place during the event, “painfully confirmed that Hindus were 'disposed of' in Mirpur in November 1947, though he does not mention any figures.”[a][b]
In March 1948, the ICRC rescued 1,600 of the survivors from Alibeg, who were resettled to Jammu and other areas of India. By 1951, only 790 non-Muslims remained in areas that came to comprise Azad Kashmir; down from a previous population of 114,000 which used to live there. Many Hindus and Sikhs from Muzaffarabad and Mirpur not killed became displaced within Jammu and Kashmir. To their displeasure, the Jammu and Kashmir government has not given them the status and associated benefits of internally displaced people.
The date of 25 November is remembered as the Mirpur Day in the Indian-administered Kashmir.
- Ibrahim Khan, Muhammad (1990), The Kashmir Saga, Verinag, p. 55: During the month of November, 1947, I went to Mirpur to see things there for myself. I visited, during the night, one Hindu refugee camp at Ali Baig—about 15 miles from Mirpur proper. Among the refugees I found some of my fellow lawyers in a pathetic condition. I saw them myself, sympathised with them and solemnly promised that they would be rescued and sent to Pakistan, from where they would eventually be sent out to India.... After a couple of days, when I visited the camp again to do my bit for them, I was greatly shocked to learn that all those people whom I had seen on the last occasion had been disposed of. I can only say that nothing in my life pained my conscience so much as did this incident.... Those who were in charge of those camps were duly dealt with but that certainly is no compensation to those whose near and dear ones were killed.
- According to a survivor, the prison guard at Ali Baig, who killed his victims with a butcher's knife chanting kalima, identified himself to Sardar Ibrahim as a soldier of Pakistan and a follower of Mohammad Ali Jinnah and said that he was following the orders of his superiors.
- Snedden, Christopher (2015-09-15). Understanding Kashmir and Kashmiris. Oxford University Press. pp. 172-. ISBN 9781849046213.
- Snedden, Christopher (2013) [first published as The Untold Story of the People of Azad Kashmir, 2012], Kashmir: The Unwritten History. HarperCollins India. pp. 28, 56. ISBN 9350298988.
- Gupta, Jyoti Bhusan Das (2012-12-06). Jammu and Kashmir. Springer. p. 97. ISBN 9789401192316.
- Snedden, Christopher (2015-09-15). Understanding Kashmir and Kashmiris. Oxford University Press. p. 167. ISBN 9781849046213.
- Puri, Luv (2012-02-21). Across the Line of Control: Inside Azad Kashmir. Columbia University Press. pp. 28–30. ISBN 9780231800846.
- Madhok, Balraj (1972-01-01). A Story of Bungling in Kashmir. Young Asia Publications. p. 67.
- Sharma 2013, p. 139.
- Hasan, Mirpur 1947 (2013)
- Prakriiti Gupta (2011-09-08). "Horrific Tales: Over 3,00,000 Hindus, Sikhs from PoK still fighting for their acceptance". Uday India. Archived from the original on September 8, 2011. Retrieved 2017-05-17.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
- Ram Chander Sharma (April 2011). "Kashmir History and Politics". www.koausa.org. Extracted from a survivor Bal K. Gupta's accounts. Retrieved 2017-05-17.
- Snedden, Christopher (2013) [first published as The Untold Story of the People of Azad Kashmir, 2012], Kashmir: The Unwritten History. HarperCollins India. p. 56. ISBN 9350298988.
- Bhagotra 2013, p. 124.
- Gupta, Bal K. (2013), Forgotten Atrocities: Memoirs of a Survivor of the 1947 Partition of India, Lulu.com, ISBN 978-1-257-91419-7
- Bhagotra, R. K. (2013) [first published in The Tawi Deepika, 1987], "Escape from Death Seven Times", Ibid, pp. 123–125
- Hasan, Khalid (2013) [first published in Friday Times, 2007], "Mirpur 1947", Ibid, pp. 141–144
- Sharma, Ram Chander (2013) [first published in Daily Excelsior, date unknown], "Mirpur – Forgotten City", Ibid, pp. 138–140