Who knew about the raid?

A careful study of the fateful days of September-October 1947 reveals that Nehru, Hari Singh and Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah expected a tribal raid on Kashmir.
Who knew about the raid?
File Photo

A careful study of the fateful days of September-October 1947 reveals that Nehru, Hari Singh and Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah expected a tribal raid on Kashmir. After Sheikh Abdullah's release on September 29, 1947 Pandit Nehru sent a letter to him in Srinagar through Dawarika Nath Kachru

Secretary General of the All India States People's Conference, who attended a meeting of National Conference Working Committee on October 2. Kachru wrote a letter to Nehru on September 4, 1947. The letter reads: 

"Sheik Sahib and his close associates have decided for the Indian Union. But, this decision has not been announced yet and the impression is being given that so far the National Conference has

taken no decision." (Kashmir Article 370 by Mohan KrishanTeng).

Instead, Sher-e-Kashmir in his address to the people in erstwhile Hazuri Bagh, now Iqbal Park said no decision concerning future of Kashmir shall be taken without consulting the people. He opposed the Two Nation Theory and praised Indian secularism and democracy.

A budding author, Ashiq Husain Bhat, has written a book titled Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah: Personality and achievements. According to him, Sheikh Abdullah took his family members out of Kashmir and left them at Indore with a relative on October 14. This means Sheikh Abdullah

knew about the coming dangers. The author believes Nehru must have informed him of the developments. He came back to Kashmir and stayed in a hotel where his headquarters were lodged. He was informed by the Badami Bagh Army headquarters of a possible raid on his headquarters.

"I had to leave for Delhi next morning. I left my headquarters. AK Watal's house was on way to the airport. We hid in the house. After a while, we head a deafening explosion. I expected the raiders any moment but they did not come.  In the morning I left for Delhi by a plane"….(Aatish-e-Chinar  425,426). Commenting on this excerpt of Sheikh's biography, the author says Sheikh had a truck with Maharaja Hari Singh because his army headquarters informed him about the possible raid on his office. He also says Like Nehru Sheikh Abdullah also knew about the raid in advance and should not have, therefore, left Kashmir at the mercy of the raiders.

How did Nehru now about the raid in advance? The author says a number of `Red Shirts' (Congress workers) accompanied the tribesmen. It is these elements who resorted to loot and arson in Muzaffarabad and Baramulla.

And contrary to common belief the Indian troops entered into Kashmir on October 17, ten days before October 27! The troops were later taken by Lt General LP Sen then a Brigadier in the Indian army under his command somewhere in Budgam district.

It took positions around Srinagar airfield and reinforced Maharaja's garrison in Jammu. The positioning of the troops unveils a conspiracy. How did Maharaja and Mahajan know that Srinagar airfield would be of vital importance in the coming days?  Why did the Maharaja feel the

necessity of reinforcing his Jammu garrison?  Did he know in advance that he will have to run away from Kashmir in the coming days? It can now be safely presumed that on November 16, Hari Singh knew that the Srinagar airport was going to be used by the Indian troops in

the coming days and needed to be guarded. The Indian leadership, Hari Singh and others knew that Sher-e-Kashmir who had already taken a decision to join India on October 3 during a Working Committee meeting of National Conference will tame the people of Kashmir and there will be no resistance to their decision of joining India. This is exactly what happened. Sher-e-Kashmir exiled

the political leadership or jailed them. The workers were terrorized by his goons. Kashmir remained silent.

But the situation in Jammu was different. The Jammu people never accepted Sher-e-Kashmir as their leader. He accepted it on a number of occasions.  A violent response like the one witnessed in Poonch was expected. At the behest of Patel, arms meant for government forces were distributed among the Hindus and RSS men from neighbouring Punjab. Nehru has made a mention of this in his letter to Patel on October 7. The massacre of Muslims on a large scale had already commenced across the region. This was done with a design-to break the Jammu Muslims and to change the demographic complexion of the region. They succeeded in both. Sher-e-Kashmir, who was the emergency administrator, did not take measures to prevent the massacre. He could have prevented it but that was not in the plan.

These facts give us a better understanding of the what happened today exactly seven decades ago. 

Related Stories

No stories found.
Greater Kashmir
www.greaterkashmir.com