By October, 1947, killing of Muslims in the villages had started. We saw villages on fire from top of our house. The number of villages on fire increased as the days passed. On sighting moon of Zil-Hajj, word of mouth was spread, “Pehlay Muslay qurbani kartay thay, iss Eid per hum Muslon ki qurbani karain gay. (Muslims used to slaughter lambs on Eid. We will slaughter Muslims on this Eid)” Few days later, curfew was cramped and attacks on scattered houses of Muslims within the Hindu areas of city started. News of Muslims killed / injured started pouring in but to assist anybody was impossible due to Indian army supervised curfew.
One night, roar of machine gun fire was heard coming from two sides of our house. Target was our house because my grand father used to finance Muslim Conference and that the large & high flag of Pakistan was still fluttering on our house top. Muslims had no weapon with them so they raised slogans “Nara-i-Takbeer – Allah-o-Akbar (The great slogan – God is The Great)” and “Pakistan zinda bad (Long live Pakistan)”. Next morning, one of our tenants for over a decade, a Brahmin (Hindu) brought a bucket of milk and said, “I thought that milk from your lands may have not arrived. So, I have brought it.” None of us was in a mood to drink milk or even eat anything. Next morning my aunt threw the milk in the drain outside the house. A cat came and drank some milk. After few minutes we heard some strange voice. We rushed to the door and saw the cat dying.
Our neighbour and his brother were Colonels in Maharaja’s army. They were on the border but their families were at home. Same day it came to be known that their families had
planned to shift to some safer place. Our guardians requested them to take six minor children of our family with them. (my aunt-17, cousin sister-17, cousin-14, my sisters 15 & 12, and myself.
During the next night, we were asked to quietly move to a military truck parked on the road keeping our heads low. We took with us some rice, atta, daal, one liter tin of olive oil, one single-sized razai (quilt) and some money. We reached Jammu Cantt and stayed in a military residence protected by 4 soldiers who did not stand around the house but lived in a room about 20 meters away from the house. Only one of them had a gun while armed rioters used to come in fifties. We lived there under fear of being murdered. Sometimes, after the sunset, we used to hear “Jai Hind” and “Sat Sri Akal”. Six of us used to sleep on a Namda (felt) 6 ft x 4 ft and one single size Razai over us. Allah protected us otherwise we should have died of Pneumonia.