| Mumbai |
October 22, 2020 1:49:05 am
Kashmiris have historically noticed October 27 as a Black Day to mark the primary touchdown of Indian troops within the Valley in 1947 to push again Pakistan-backed tribal invaders. However this 12 months, in what seems to be an effort by the federal government to vary that narrative, the Ministry of Tradition is marking October 22 — the day the Pakistani invasion started and set the stage for the primary India-Pakistan struggle — with a string of occasions, together with a symposium in Srinagar on the occasions of that day.
The lead-up to Oct 22
By October 1947, Kashmir was in excessive ferment. For months earlier than the independence of India and the creation of Pakistan, Hari Singh, the Hindu ruler of Muslim-majority Kashmir, was going through a rise up in Poonch by Muslim topics who refused to pay taxes and launched an armed insurgency. Hari Singh deployed the Kashmir state forces to crack down. On the identical time, with Partition nearing, Hindus and Sikhs had been crossing into Jammu, bringing with them tales of harrowing violence in Rawalpindi and different areas. Jammu had was a communal cauldron by the point anti-Muslim clashes broke out. There are various variations of what number of Muslims have been killed, however most accounts communicate of the riots as a bloodbath.
At Independence, Hari Singh determined that Kashmir wouldn’t accede to both India or Pakistan. As an alternative, he made a suggestion of a standstill settlement with each, however solely Pakistan signed. Pakistan took cost of Kashmir’s publish and telegraphs and agreed to proceed supplying necessities reminiscent of gasoline and grains by way of West Punjab, now a part of the brand new nation. However because the clashes continued, the provides from Pakistan dried up. Lack of petrol immobilised transport; Pakistan stopped the practice service from Sialkot to Jammu; banking obtained disrupted.
On the borders, bands of armed raiders have been already launching hit-and-run assaults. The state of affairs grew alarming for Hari Singh and his small military from about mid-October, and his cables to the Pakistan PM to place an finish to the raids have been rebuffed.
Oct 22 invasion & resistance
On October 22, hundreds of tribal invaders crossed into Kashmir overrunning outposts of Hari Singh’s state forces in Muzaffarabad, Domel and different locations on the highway to Srinagar. The Kashmir forces have been too small in quantity. Plus, the Muslim troopers, who have been in equal numbers with the Dogras within the drive, joined fingers with the raiders.
In line with the Ministry of Defence’s official historical past of the struggle, “The plan of the invaders was tactfully sound and, to start with, brilliantly executed. The principle assault needed to be frontally launched alongside the motor highway. Other than the rifles, the usual weapon of the raiders, the principle drive had additionally just a few gentle machine weapons and travelled in about 300 civilian lorries.”
Pakistan maintained it had nothing to do with this invasion, however proof on the contrary has come up in a number of accounts together with that by Main-Basic Akbar Khan of the Pakistan Military, in his e book Raiders of Kashmir. Indian army histories say the invasion was deliberate two months forward by the Pakistan Military, and codenamed Operation Gulmarg.
One of the vital episodes was the assault on Baramulla on the night time of October 26-27. The concentrating on of St Joseph’s Convent and Hospital on October 27 and the killings on its premises are documented by British journalist Andrew Whitehead in A Mission in Kashmir.
Numerous accounts of the invasion have defined why the Pashtun tribesmen got here to type the advance get together of the Pakistan army. Whitehead writes that Pakistan didn’t need to set off an open battle with India, and located its most suitable choice in “turning the martial temper of the the Pathan hill tribes to [its] greatest pursuits”. India’s official account says the usage of Pashtun tribesmen by Pakistan sought to divert the calls for for Pashtunistan within the North-West Frontier Province.
Two Kashmiris are celebrated for his or her resistance that helped hold the invaders out of Srinagar for just a few days, till Indian troops arrived on October 27, a day after Hari Singh signed the Instrument of Accession to India.
One is Brigadier Rajinder Singh, who had simply been appointed as the brand new Chief of Workers of the state forces. He had headed out of Srinagar with 200 troops, and his resolution to explode a bridge in Uri slowed the advance of the tribesmen, though it didn’t cease them. Singh was killed in motion on October 25.
The opposite is Shahid Maqbool Sherwani, whose story has been immortalised by Mulk Raj Anand in Dying of a Hero. Sherwani, a Nationwide Convention employee in Baramulla, gave the invaders improper instructions to Srinagar airport. He was crucified by them once they realised he had tricked them.
All accounts of the struggle additionally ascribe the tribesmen’s failure to make progress in direction of Srinagar to their preoccupation with looting Baramulla, with some even returning to Pakistan with their loot. Sardar Qayum Khan, who served as president of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, is quoted by Whitehead as saying that the tribesmen have been “uncontrollable individuals”; “they went on looting”.
After the raid
After Hari Singh signed off on the accession, 4 Dakotas flew to Srinagar from Delhi by way of October 27 transporting troops. Extra troops adopted over the following few days. The invaders have been held off near Srinagar, at a spot known as Shalteng, and there was a battle in Budgam, near the airport. By November 8, the Indian Military had taken management of Srinagar; on November 9, of Baramulla; and by November 13, of Uri.
Nonetheless, with Pakistani forces formally coming into the battlefield in help of the tribesmen, the struggle would proceed for over a 12 months, till a ceasefire was declared on the night time of December 31, 1948, and the phrases of the ceasefire have been accepted on January 5, 1949.
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