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India’s Brutal Tactics in Suppressing Separatist Movements By Sajjad Shaukat

India’s Brutal Tactics in Suppressing Separatist Movements

By Sajjad Shaukat

 

A large number of separatist movements in different parts of India are posing a serious threat to Indian federation, as Indian security forces have badly failed in suppressing these movements through brutal tactics.

 

In this respect, Naxalites or Maoists is second major freedom movement after that of the Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK). Maoists inhabit an area known as the ‘Red Corridor’ that stretches from West Bengal to Karnataka state in the southwest. Indian former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had called Maoist insurrection, “the single biggest internal-security challenge”, whereas, Home Secretary G.K Pillai reiterated the magnitude of this threat, saying that the Maoists want to completely overthrow the Indian state by 2050. Tamil Nadu is another area where separatist movements are haunting the Federation of India. However, in many regions of India, separatist movements or wars of liberation continue unabated.

 

In this regard, the seven states of Northeastern India, which are called the ‘Seven Sisters’ are ethnically and linguistically different from rest of the country. These states are rocked by a large number of armed and violent rebellions, some seeking separate states, some fighting for autonomy and others demanding complete independence while keeping the entire region in a state of turmoil. These states include Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura. These states accuse New Delhi of apathy towards their issues. Illiteracy, poverty and lack of economic opportunities have fueled the natives’ demand for autonomy and independence.

 

Owing to the political, economic and social injustices, tensions existed between these Northeastern states and the central government as well as amongst their native people and migrants from other parts of India. In late 2013, Indian state governments tried to ease tensions making by promising to raise the living standards of people in these regions. But, in late 2014, tensions again rose, as the Indian rulers launched an atrocious offensive which led to a retaliatory attack on civilians by tribal guerrillas.

 

Since the secessionist movements started in these states, Indian security forces have used various brutal tactics which brought about untold miseries on the people. In one way or the other, these atrocities still continue in these areas of North East India.

 

Undoubtedly, these states have witnessed various forms of India’s state terrorism like crackdowns, illegal detentions, massacre, targeted killings, sieges, burning the houses, torture, disappearances, rapes, breaking the legs, molestation of women and killing of persons through fake encounters.

 

It is notable that in 2015, the then Indian Minister of Home Affairs Rajnath Singh had highlighted his focus to build the capacity of security forces, engaged in fighting uprising and separatism. Indian Central Government finalized the raising of Indian Reserve Police Battalions (IRBPs) in the Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) and Naxal/Maoist hit states or Left Wing Extremism (LWE) areas, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Out of the total 25 IRBPs proposed, five were for IOK and 12 for LWE affected states whereas rest of 8, IRBPs for other states. Online reports suggested that IRBPs also include Northeastern states of India.

 

Now, IRBPs have totally failed in suppressing insurgency and separatist movements in various regions of India, including those of the North East.

 

It is mentionable that one of the important causes of the disintegration of the former Soviet Union was that its greater defence expenditure exceeded to the maximum, resulting in economic crises inside the country. In this connection, about a prolonged war in Afghanistan, the former President Gorbachev had declared it as the “bleeding wound.” However, the militarization of the Soviet Union failed in controlling the movements of liberation, launched by various ethnic nationalities which were kept under control through the ruthless force.  While, learning no lesson from New Delhi’s previous close friend, Indian fundamentalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi of the BJP extremist party is acting upon the similar policies.

 

Instead of redressing the grievances of the people by eliminating injustices against them, Indian Government is depending upon ruthless force to crush these secessionist movements through security forces. Therefore, India’s unrealistic counterinsurgency strategy has badly failed.

 

Nevertheless, poor economic policies, heavy defence spending, neglected social development, growing serpent of radical Hinduism, ancient caste system and divisive/pressure politics are just few triggers of these secessionist movements.

 

India, instead of addressing actual domestic problems and peoples’ genuine grievances also resorts to blaming its neighbours for fueling these movements. In the pretext, New Delhi is also acting upon war-mongering policy against Pakistan and China.

 

It is also speculated that Indian government under the pretext of escalation of tension with China in Doklom region, will increase the number of armed forces in ‘Seven Sister’ regions, as an attempt to neutralize the uprisings there.

 

Again, it is noteworthy that the escalation of centrifugal tendencies, fostering insurgency and separatist movements in India is mainly due to complete failure of the Indian Government to address the root causes. This situation has a potential to lead to a domino effect in the South Asian region, which will be detrimental to regional security and peace.

 

It is of particular attention that Indian Minister of External Affairs Jaswant Singh who served the BJP for 30 years was expelled from the party for praising Mohammad Ali Jinnah (Founder of Pakistan) and echoing the pain of the Indian Muslims in his book, “Jinnah: India, Partition, Independence.”

 

While pointing out the BJP’s attitude towards the minorities, Singh wrote: “Every Muslim that lives in India is a loyal Indian…look into the eyes of Indian Muslims and see the pain.” He warned in his book, if such a policy continued, “India could have the third partition.”

In fact, taking cognizance of the separatist movements in India and New Delhi’s use of brutal force through the military in suppressing them, in one way or the other, Jaswant Singh has shown realistic approach in his book.

 

Nonetheless, we can conclude that under the mask of democracy and secularism, Indian subsequent regimes dominated by politicians from the Hindi heartland—Hindutva (Hindu nationalism) have used brutal tactics mercilessly in suppressing the separatist movements in various regions, including Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura. Under Modi’s extremist regime, these tactics have openly been employed by the Indian security forces. But, like the former Soviet Union, separatist movements which pose a serious threat to Indian federation, will culminate in the disintegration of the Indian union.

 

Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is the author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations

 

Email: sajjad_logic_@yahoo.com

Additional Readings

  • Khalistan Freedom Movement.

  • Assam Separatist Movements.

  • Dravida Nadu.

  • Indian Occupied Kashmir Liberation Movement

  • Naxalite–Maoist insurgency.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON SECESSIONIST MOVEMENTS IN INDIA

by

Sardar Zafar Mahmud Khan

HERE IS A LIST OF JUST SOME OF THESE SEPARATIST MOVEMENTS;

1. National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB)

2. United People’s Democratic Solidarity (UPDS)

3. Kamtapur Liberation Organisation (KLO)

4. Bodo Liberation Tiger Force (BLTF)

5. Dima Halim Daogah (DHD)

6. Karbi National Volunteers (KNV)

7. Rabha National Security Force (RNSF)

8. Koch-Rajbongshi Liberation Organisation (KRLO)

9. Hmar People’s Convention- Democracy (HPC-D)

10. Karbi People’s Front (KPF)

11. Tiwa National Revolutionary Force (TNRF)

12. Bircha Commando Force (BCF)

13. Bengali Tiger Force (BTF)
Banner of the UNLF

Banner of the UNLF (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

14. Adivasi Security Force (ASF)

15. All Assam Adivasi Suraksha Samiti (AAASS)

16. Gorkha Tiger Force (GTF)

17. Barak Valley Youth Liberation Front (BVYLF)

18. United Liberation Front of Barak Valley

19. United National Liberation Front (UNLF)

20. People’s Liberation Army (PLA)

21. People’s Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak (PREPAK)

22. The above mentioned three groups now operate from a unified platform,
india kerala boat people

india kerala boat people (Photo credit: FriskoDude)

23. the Manipur People’s Liberation Front (MPLF)

24. Kangleipak Communist Party (KCP)

25. Kanglei Yawol Kanna Lup (KYKL)

26. Manipur Liberation Tiger Army (MLTA)

27. Iripak Kanba Lup (IKL)

28. People’s Republican Army (PRA)

29. Kangleipak Kanba Kanglup (KKK)

30. Kangleipak Liberation Organisation (KLO)

 

31. Revolutionary Joint Committee (RJC)

32. National Socialist Council of Nagaland — Isak-Muivah (NSCN-IM)

33. People’s United Liberation Front (PULF)

34. Kuki National Army (KNA)

35. Kuki Revolutionary Army (KRA)

36. Kuki National Organisation (KNO)

37. Kuki Independent Army (KIA)
English: Location of Jammu and Kashmir in India

Kashmiris dont think of themselves as Indians.English: Location of Jammu and Kashmir in India (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

38. Kuki Defence Force (KDF)

39. Kuki International Force (KIF)

40. Kuki National Volunteers (KNV)

41. Kuki Liberation Front (KLF)

42. Kuki Security Force (KSF)

43. Kuki Liberation Army (KLA)

44. Kuki Revolutionary Front (KRF)

45. United Kuki Liberation Front (UKLF)

46. Hmar People’s Convention (HPC)

47. Hmar People’s Convention- Democracy (HPC-D)

48. Hmar Revolutionary Front (HRF)

49. Zomi Revolutionary Army (ZRA)

50. Zomi Revolutionary Volunteers (ZRV)

51. Indigenous People’s Revolutionary Alliance(IRPA)

52. Kom Rem People’s Convention (KRPC)

53. Chin Kuki Revolutionary Front (CKRF)

54. Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC)

55. Achik National Volunteer Council (ANVC)

56. People’s Liberation Front of Meghalaya (PLF-M)

57. Hajong United Liberation Army (HULA)

58. National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah) – NSCN(IM)

59. National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Khaplang) – NSCN (K)

60. Naga National Council (Adino) – NNC (Adino)

61. Babbar Khalsa International (BKI)

62. Khalistan Zindabad Force (KZF)

63. International Sikh Youth Federation (ISYF)

64. Khalistan Commando Force (KCF)

65. All-India Sikh Students Federation (AISSF)

66. Bhindrawala Tigers Force of Khalistan (BTFK)

67. Khalistan Liberation Army (KLA)

68. Khalistan Liberation Front (KLF)

69. Khalistan Armed Force (KAF)

70. Dashmesh Regiment

71. Khalistan Liberation Organisation (KLO)

72. Khalistan National Army (KNA)

73. National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT)

74. All Tripura Tiger Force (ATTF)

75. Tripura Liberation Organisation Front (TLOF)

76. United Bengali Liberation Front (UBLF)

77. Tripura Tribal Volunteer Force (TTVF)

78. Tripura Armed Tribal Commando Force (TATCF)

79. Tripura Tribal Democratic Force (TTDF)

80. Tripura Tribal Youth Force (TTYF)

81. Tripura Liberation Force (TLF)

82. Tripura Defence Force (TDF)

83. All Tripura Volunteer Force (ATVF)

84. Tribal Commando Force (TCF)

85. Tripura Tribal Youth Force (TTYF)

86. All Tripura Bharat Suraksha Force (ATBSF)

87. Tripura Tribal Action Committee Force (TTACF) Socialist Democratic

88. Front of Tripura (SDFT)

89. All Tripura National Force (ATNF)

90. Tripura Tribal Sengkrak Force (TTSF)

91. Tiger Commando Force (TCF)

92. Tripura Mukti Police (TMP)

93. Tripura Rajya Raksha Bahini (TRRB)

94. Tripura State Volunteers (TSV)

95. Tripura National Democratic Tribal Force (TNDTF)

96. National Militia of Tripura (NMT)

97. All Tripura Bengali Regiment (ATBR)

98. Bangla Mukti Sena (BMS)

99. All Tripura Liberation Organisation (ATLO)

100. Tripura National Army (TNA)

101. Tripura State Volunteers (TSV)

102. Borok National Council of Tripura (BNCT)

103. Mizoram

104. Bru National Liberation Front

105. Hmar People’s Convention- Democracy (HPC-D)

106. Arunachal Pradesh

107. Arunachal Dragon Force (ADF)

108. Left-wing Extremist groups

109. People’s Guerrilla Army

110. People’s War Group

111. Maoist Communist Centre

112. Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist)

113. Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Janashakti Other Extremist Groups

114. Tamil National Retrieval Troops (TNRT)

 

 

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Refocus on Jammu Martyrs Day By Sajjad Shaukat

 

Refocus on Jammu Martyrs Day

 

By

Sajjad Shaukat

Thought Leader Pakistan Think Tank

 

 

 

 

 

 

This time Jammu Martyrs Day has come at time when the people of Kashmir have accelerated their legitimate struggle in the aftermath of the martyrdom of the young Kashmir leader Burhan Wani by the Indian security forces in the Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) in wake of continued sieges, prolonged curfews, arrests and detentions of the Kashmiri leaders. Since July 8, 2016, Indian forces have martyred more than 300 innocent persons who have been protesting against the martyrdom of Burhan Wani.

 

Some online authentic sources suggest that recent wave of Kashmiri intifada has witnessed repression of Indian armed forces; large numbers of the dead and injured have been youngsters. The pellet guns used by security forces have damaged the faces of 1600 people and more than 1100 people have partially or wholly lost their eyesight making 2016 as the year of dead eyes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By manipulating the false flag terror attacks at a military base in Uri and Baramulla, the BJP-led Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also intensified war-hysteria against Pakistan. Indian’s violation at the Line of Control (LoC) and shelling in Pakistani side of Azad Kashmir has become a routine matter. New Delhi’s main aim is to deflect the attention of the international community from the new phase of Kashmiri Intifada and from the solution of Kashmir issue.

 

However, like other “black days”, Jammu Martyrs Day which is another gloomy day in the history of Kashmir, is celebrated on 6th of November by the Kashmiris and the Pakistanis on both sides of the LoC and by those, living abroad to remember the great sacrifices of 2.50 lakh inmates of Jammu including men, women, children and elderly Muslims who were mercilessly slaughtered by the armed Hindu gangsters, the Indian occupying and the Dogra military troops near Jammu Sialkot working boundary under a nefarious pre-planned conspiracy, while they were proceeding for migrating to their beloved homeland Pakistan. This tragedy occurred on this very day in 1947.

 

During the first week of November in 1947‚ hundreds of thousands of Kashmiris were killed by the forces of Maharaja Hari Singh‚ Indian army and Hindu extremists in different parts of Jammu region, while they were migrating to Pakistan. But, their brutalities were not confined to it. As part of the pre-planned scheme, on November 5, 1947, announcements were made everywhere in Jammu, asking Muslims to assemble in police lines where from they would be sent to Pakistan. On November 6, Jammu Muslims including men women and children were seemingly dispatched towards Pakistan in trucks. But before they could reach the destination, Indian army, forces of Maharaja and Hindu extremists at Samba Reasi and other places martyred them in a gruesome manner. Thus, over 2.50 Muslim inmates of Jammu city and adjoining areas were martyred.

 

Nevertheless, the huge deaths had stunned the world. In this regard, the ‘Time” magazine, in its November 47 publication also pointed out the figure of 2, 50,000 deaths of Jammu people.

 

But, these sacrifices did not go waste, as they have kept the Kashmir issue alive. As regards the historical background, during the partition of the Sub-continent, the people of the state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) which comprised Muslim majority decided to join Pakistan according to the British-led formula. But, Dogra Raja, Sir Hari Singh, a Hindu who was ruling over the J&K, in connivance with the Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Governor General Lord Mountbatten joined India.

 

The design to forcibly wrest Kashmir began to unfold on August 16, 1947, with the announcement of the Radcliffe Boundary Award. It gave the Gurdaspur District—a majority Muslim area to India to provide a land route to the Indian armed forces to move into Kashmir. There was a rebellion in the state forces, which revolted against the Maharaja and were joined by Pathan tribesmen. Lord Mountbatten ordered armed forces to land in Srinagar.

 

When Pakistan responded militarily against the Indian aggression, on December 31, 1947, India made an appeal to the UN Security Council to intervene and a ceasefire ultimately came into effect on January 01, 1949, following UN resolutions calling for a plebiscite in Kashmir to enable the people of Jammu and Kashmir to determine whether they wish to join Pakistan or India. On February 5, 1964, India backed out of its promise of holding a plebiscite. Instead, in March 1965, the Indian Parliament passed a bill, declaring Kashmir a province of India-an integral part of the Indian union.

 

The very tragedy of Kashmiris had started after 1947 when they were denied their genuine right of self-determination. They organized themselves against the injustices of India and launched a war of liberation which New Delhi tried to crush through various forms of brutalities.

 

It is notable that since 1947, in order to maintain its illegal control, India has continued its repressive regime in the Occupied Kashmir through various machinations.

 

Nonetheless, various forms of state terrorism have been part of a deliberate campaign by the Indian army and paramilitary forces against Muslim Kashmiris, especially since 1989. It has been manifested in brutal tactics like crackdowns, curfews, illegal detentions, massacre, targeted killings, sieges, burning the houses, torture, disappearances, rape, breaking the legs, molestation of Muslim women and killing of persons through the fake encounter.

 

According to a report on human rights violations in the Indian Occupied Kashmir, since 1989, there have been deaths of 1,00000 innocent Kashmiris, 7,023 custodial killings, 1,22,771 arrests, 1,05,996 destruction of houses or buildings, 22,776 women widowed, 1,07,466 children orphaned and 10,086 women gang-raped/molested. Indian brutal securities forces have continued these atrocities.

 

In fact, Indian forces have employed various draconian laws like the Jammu and Kashmir Disturbed Areas Act, and the Armed Forces (Jammu and Kashmir) Special Powers Act and Public Safety Act in killing the Kashmiri people, and for the arbitrarily arrest of any individual for an indefinite period.

 

Besides Human Rights Watch, in its various reports, Amnesty International has also pointed out grave human rights violations in the Indian controlled Kashmir, indicating, “The Muslim majority population in the Kashmir Valley suffers from the repressive tactics of the security forces.

 

In its report on July 2, 2015, the Amnesty International has highlighted extrajudicial killings of the innocent persons at the hands of Indian security forces in the Indian Held Kashmir. The report points out, “Tens of thousands of security forces are deployed in Indian-administered Kashmir…the Armed Forces Special Powers Act allows troops to shoot to kill suspected militants or arrest them without a warrant…not a single member of the armed forces has been tried in a civilian court for violating human rights in Kashmir…this lack of accountability has, in turn, facilitated other serious abuses…India has martyred one 100,000 people. More than 8,000 disappeared (while) in the custody of army and state police.”

 

In this respect, European Union has passed a resolution about human rights abuses committed by Indian forces in the Indian held Kashmir.

 

It is of particular attention that in 2008, a rights group reported unmarked graves in 55 villages across the northern regions of the Indian-held Kashmir. Then researchers and other groups reported finding thousands of mass graves without markers. In this respect, in August 2011, Indian Jammu and Kashmir State Human Rights Commission officially acknowledged in its report that innocent civilians killed in the two-decade conflict have been buried in unmarked graves.

 

Notably, foreign sources and human rights organisations have revealed that unnamed graves include those innocent persons, killed by the Indian military and paramilitary troops in the fake encounters including those who were tortured to death by the Indian secret agency RAW.

 

Indian authorities are not willing to talk with Kashmiri people on political grounds. New Delhi reached a conclusion that the only bullet is the right way of dealing with Kashmiris, demanding their right of self-determination. Surprisingly, Indian successive governments are trying to ignore the dynamics of the freedom movement of Kashmiris for the sake of their alien rule.

 

But, New Delhi is still showing its intransigence in order to resolve Kashmir dispute with Pakistan by neglecting the fact that Kashmir remains a nuclear flashpoint between both the neighbouring countries.

 

In this context, Egbert Jahn in his book, “Kashmir: Flashpoint for a Nuclear War or Even a Third World War?” has pointed out, “The Kashmir conflict is embedded in the wider conflict over the incomplete creation of nations and states on the Indian subcontinent, which during the east-west conflict even threatened at times to escalate into a nuclear world war between Pakistan and the USA on the one side and India and the USSR on the other. Until now, there have been three wars between India and Pakistan over the Jammu and Kashmir: in 1947–49, 1965 and 1999… finally, the Indo-Chinese border war of 1962…after these wars…and could unexpectedly again lead to a regional and under certain circumstances…even a major nuclear war or a Third World War.”

 

Meanwhile, like the previous year, Pakistan’s recent serious and sincere effort at the annual session of the United Nations—the recent speech of Pakistan’s prime minister and his meeting with the American president, highlighting the Kashmir dispute and demanding its solution has infused a new spirit among the Kashmiri people.

 

However, 6th of November is commemorated by the Kashmiris and Pakistanis as the Jammu Martyrs Day to remember the supreme sacrifices of lives, laid down by 2,50,000 people of Jammu, who were ruthlessly massacred by the Hindu extremists, Indian forces and the Dogra military troops on November 6, 1947.

 

Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: The US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations

 

Email: sajjad_logic_pak@hotmail.com

                              

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GLOBAL INJUSTICE by Mehwish Zia

GLOBAL INJUSTICE

by

Mehwish Zia

27th October 1947, also known as Black Day , is the darkest day of the history of sub-continent. On this day , the Indian troops landed on the soil of Kashmir and sabotaged the stability of the subcontinent. Unfortunately, Kashmir is one of those royal states that India occupied with its hegemony at the time of partition of the sub-continent. By handing over this Muslim majority state to India against the will of his people, Raja Hari Singh, the Hindu ruler of Kashmir, commenced the never ending story of human rights infringements by Indian army. Extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, sexual assault against women, harassment of Kashmiri students – you name it and they have done it. If peace is what the proponents of war on terrorism want to achieve, why nobody dares to pay heed to the grievances of Kashmiris?

 

Map-of-IOK-largeA long time ago the seed of the Kashmir conflict was planted by giving India the Muslim majority area of Gurdaspur District at the time of partition of the subcontinent. This blessed the Indian armed forces with a land route to Kashmir. The state forces revolted against Maharaja’s decision and the governor general of India, Lord Mountbatten, ordered the Indian army to land in Srinagar. Pakistan military retaliated and when India could not control the circumstances, it appealed to the UN Security Council to intervene. This was followed by ceasefire and UN resolutions calling for a plebiscite in Kashmir. In front of the whole world India pledged that Kashmiris will be given a chance to decide their future. Later on, it forgot its promises and started to oppress Kashmiris.

 

 

 

 

How Indian ARMY Rapes Women Must Watch by arynews

It has been decades now, but the issue of Kashmir cannot be resolved. Since the beginning of this conflict, India is committing the worst kind of human rights violations in Kashmir. Not only this, Pakistan and India have fought at least three wars over Kashmir and have been engaged in several battles over the control of the Siachen Glacier since 1984. Apart from this, day to day battles between Kashmiri insurgents and the Indian Government have further jeopardized the public security. On the one hand, India demands permanent membership of the United Nations . On the other hand, it does not let the people of Kashmir decide their fate. Does this hypocrite deserve permanent membership of the UN Security Council?

 

Kashmir is not just an issue of land, but also of people. Every year on Black Day Kashmiris living on both sides of the Line of Control tell the world that they are against the India’s illegal occupation of Jammu and Kashmir. Like any other nation of this world, Kashmiris also deserve to live a peaceful life. For that reason, they peacefully demand their right of freedom from India. Also, they remind the international community that the resolution of Kashmir issue is mandatory for the stability of not only Kashmir but also of South Asia. Therefore, it must be resolved in accordance with the resolutions of the United Nations.

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STORY EXPOSED: INDIAN ARMY MASS SLAUGHTER OF TENS OF THOUSANDS OF MUSLIMS IN CENTRAL INDIA IN 1948

Hyderabad 1948: India’s hidden massacre

 

By Mike Thomson

Presenter, Document, Radio 4

 

The  Jewel of The Nizams 'Falaknuma Palace' which was the former residence of Nizam Mehaboob Ali Khan in the old city area of Hyderabad

When India was partitioned in 1947, about 500,000 people died in communal rioting, mainly along the borders with Pakistan. But a year later another massacre occurred in central India, which until now has remained clouded in secrecy.

In September and October 1948, soon after independence from the British Empire, tens of thousands of people were brutally slaughtered in central India.

Some were lined up and shot by Indian Army soldiers. Yet a government-commissioned report into what happened was never published and few in India know about the massacre. Critics have accused successive Indian governments of continuing a cover-up.

The massacres took place a year after the violence of partition in what was then Hyderabad state, in the heart of India. It was one of 500 princely states that had enjoyed autonomy under British colonial rule.

When independence came in 1947 nearly all of these states agreed to become part of India.

Old map of India

But Hyderabad’s Muslim Nizam, or prince, insisted on remaining independent. This refusal to surrender sovereignty to the new democratic India outraged the country’s leaders in New Delhi.

After an acrimonious stand-off between Delhi and Hyderabad, the government finally lost patience.

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The Charminar in central Hyderabad
  • Listen to Mike Thomson’s report on Document, The Hyderabad Massacre, on BBC Radio 4 at 16:00 BST on Tuesday 24 September or catch it later on the BBC iPlayer.

Historians say their desire to prevent an independent Muslim-led state taking root in the heart of predominantly Hindu India was another worry.

Members of the powerful Razakar militia, the armed wing of Hyderabad’s most powerful Muslim political party, were terrorising many Hindu villagers.

This gave the Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, the pretext he needed. In September 1948 the Indian Army invaded Hyderabad.

In what was rather misleadingly known as a “police action”, the Nizam’s forces were defeated after just a few days without any significant loss of civilian lives. But word then reached Delhi that arson, looting and the mass murder and rape of Muslims had followed the invasion.

Determined to get to the bottom of what was happening, an alarmed Nehru commissioned a small mixed-faith team to go to Hyderabad to investigate.

It was led by a Hindu congressman, Pandit Sunderlal. But the resulting report that bore his name was never published.

Historian Sunil Purushotham from the University of Cambridge has now obtained a copy of the report as part of his research in this field.

A copy of the Sunderlal reportPandit Sunderlal’s team concluded that between 27,000 and 40,000 died

The Sunderlal team visited dozens of villages throughout the state.

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At a number of places members of the armed forces brought out Muslim adult males… and massacred them”

Sunderlal report

At each one they carefully chronicled the accounts of Muslims who had survived the appalling violence: “We had absolutely unimpeachable evidence to the effect that there were instances in which men belonging to the Indian Army and also to the local police took part in looting and even other crimes.

“During our tour we gathered, at not a few places, that soldiers encouraged, persuaded and in a few cases even compelled the Hindu mob to loot Muslim shops and houses.”

The team reported that while Muslim villagers were disarmed by the Indian Army, Hindus were often left with their weapons. The mob violence that ensued was often led by Hindu paramilitary groups.

In other cases, it said, Indian soldiers themselves took an active hand in the butchery: “At a number of places members of the armed forces brought out Muslim adult males from villages and towns and massacred them in cold blood.”

The investigation team also reported, however, that in many other instances the Indian Army had behaved well and protected Muslims.

The Nizam Mahbub Ali Khan and Party Posed with Tiger Skins at Shikar Camp, April–May 1899The Nizam of Hyderabad was a powerful prince. In this picture taken in 1899, the Nizam, Mahbub Ali Khan, and his party pose with tiger skins

The backlash was said to have been in response to many years of intimidation and violence against Hindus by the Razakars.

In confidential notes attached to the Sunderlal report, its authors detailed the gruesome nature of the Hindu revenge: “In many places we were shown wells still full of corpses that were rotting. In one such we counted 11 bodies, which included that of a woman with a small child sticking to her breast. “

And it went on: “We saw remnants of corpses lying in ditches. At several places the bodies had been burnt and we would see the charred bones and skulls still lying there.”

The Sunderlal report estimated that between 27,000 to 40,000 people lost their lives.

Indian Shiite Muslims take part in religious prayers at 'Ashoorkhana' in the Aza Khana Zehara in Hyderabad, on January 5, 2009. The structure, built by the seventh Nizam Mir Osman Ali Kahan to perpetuate the memory of his mother Amtul Zehra BegumA Shiite shrine built by the seventh Nizam to perpetuate his mother’s memory

No official explanation was given for Nehru’s decision not to publish the contents of the Sunderlal report, though it is likely that, in the powder-keg years that followed independence, news of what happened might have sparked more Muslim reprisals against Hindus.

It is also unclear why, all these decades later, there is still no reference to what happened in the nation’s schoolbooks. Even today few Indians have any idea what happened.

The Sunderlal report, although unknown to many, is now open for viewing at the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library in New Delhi.

There has been a call recently in the Indian press for it to be made more widely available, so the entire nation can learn what happened.

It could be argued this might risk igniting continuing tensions between Muslims and Hindus.

“Living as we are in this country with all our conflicts and problems, I wouldn’t make a big fuss over it,” says Burgula Narasingh Rao, a Hindu who lived through those times in Hyderabad and is now in his 80s.

“What happens, reaction and counter-reaction and various things will go on and on, but at the academic level, at the research level, at your broadcasting level, let these things come out. I have no problem with that.”

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