My Memories of 1947 – Part – 7

In last week of November, 1947, Sheikh Abdullah visited us in Jammu Cantt alongwith Additional District Magistrate of Jammu. I and my cousin were advised by the house lady to insist on going to Pakistan. On seeing us Sheikh Abdullah asked about me. I went near him, he lifted me on his arm and said, ”These 3 telegrams are from your father. If you want to join your parents, we will send you to Palestine but it is better that we bring them here and you live in your own home.” In the mean time my cousin started weeping and said, “All our relations have gone to Pakistan, we want to go to Pakistan.” I copied him. Sheikh Abdullah patted us and said, “O K. We will send you to Pakistan. Do not weep. You are good boys.” Then he said to the ADM, “Why don’t they shift to Jammu ?” He informed him that there was danger to our lives. (Father had sent 3 telegrams, one each to Lord Mount Batten, Governor General of India, Mr Nehru, Prime Minister and Sheikh Abdullah, to locate and send us to Palestine.)

Some days later, we were shifted under security cover to Jammu City and placed in the house of Col (R) Peer Muhammad. We arranged some money from the bank. Thus, we were able to purchase edibles and ate properly cooked food after about two months. We lived in there for about 2 weeks. During this period, accompanied by a Muslim Inspector Police and a few policemen, we visited our house. Every thing in the house had been looted. Suitcases and even G I sheet boxes had been taken away. What we found there was empty large G I sheet boxes and the Egyptian large brass-made double bed which had a beautiful brass canopy. On the floor were scattered papers of our property and family pictures. I and my sister collected all these papers and photographs but we could not bring those because of weight. We saw blood at two places, on the roof. (After reaching Pakistan we came to know that my father’s young cousin and a 16 year old son of a neighbour fell victims to machine guns of Indian army.)

A plan was made to send to Pakistan minor children and injured women, parents or guardians of whom were supposed to have gone to Pakistan. Thus, on December 18, 1947, six small buses with children (including us) and injured women started off to Sialkot. Total drive was about 40 Km. Sheikh Abdullah was leading this Kafla in a military jeep and the Kafla was moving under protection of army from Madras, India. Sheikh Abdullah and Indian army stopped at the border. The buses finally reached and stopped at Sialkot Cantt. In our bus, my sister was sitting near window and I was sitting next to her. On seeing our two aunts outside, we became very happy. However, their state of mind, that had been under persistent tension for about two months, can be judged from the fact that one of my aunts came near our bus and asked my sister calling my sisters and cousins name, “Baytee ! Have you them ? Have they also come with you ?” My sister said, “Chachi ji, it is me. It is me your niece.” Then we got down and hugged our aunts. They again asked, “Who are you ?” then they recognized us and started kissing us while tears rained from their eyes.

On seeing our aunts, we were very happy. However, their state of mind, that had been under persistent tension for about 2 months, can be judged from the fact that one of our aunts (whose children were with us) came near our bus and asked my sister Y, “Have you seen X, Y or Z?” She replied, “Auntie, it is me, Y.” It took our aunt some time to realize that she was indeed speaking to Y. Then we got down and hugged our aunts. They started kissing us while tears rained from their eyes.

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