Mirpur Chomakh remembered

Romesh Karyal (Mirpuri)
Mirpur, identified as Mirpur Chomakh, is in Pakistan held part of Jammu & Kashmir State since 1947. The town was raided and devastated by the Kabyalli Pathans fully backed by Pak army on 10th of Magar 2004 (25th of November 1947). The town is no more in existence as it is in deep slumber under the lake water of the Mangla Dam since 1960. I was born in Mirpur. Often in my dreams I walk through the streets and the Bazar of Mirpur sometime lonely and occasionally with my then young school mates.
The town had about 10,000 to 12,000 population in 1946 which swelled up to about 25,000 in 1947 with the inflex of displaced refugees from neighbouring state of Punjab as well as displaced Hindus  and Sikhs from villages of rural Mirpur. It was a great tragedy of 1947 partition of India in which thousands of Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs were done to death or uprooted after their houses were burnt in communal violence.
Mirpur was the biggest trade centre of the State and was perhaps the gate way of entire state with rest of the Indian states of British India. The town had over 80 percent brick built pacca houses with some of the banglows of rich Mirpuries, such as Diwan  Chand Shah (Advocate), had even three storey buildings with western style plumbing system. In absence of electricity, the administration managed oil burnt street lamps hung on walls which used to be lit by night by a paid employee who could be seen moving with a ladder and a kerosene oil Kanaster to feed these lamps as and when required. A single straight one and a half kilometer Bazaar with brick built pacca shops on both sides, ended at two palacial gates called “Hathi Darwaza’ which were perhaps made for occasional visits of the Maharajas. The  main wholesale center in the Bazar was named as ‘Dharat’ infront of which trucks for loading and unloading of trade goods could be seen. Town was built on a hillock and the low lying area called ‘Khud’ was connected with about a dozen, mostly zigzag sloppy pathway called ‘Dhakies’ usually there was a deep clean water well near the termination of these ‘Dhakies’ for  potable water used for bathing and other household purposes. A big Sikh Shrine (Gurudwara) named as ‘Damdaman Sahib’ was dignity of Mirpur where both Hindus and  Sikhs got heavenly blessings.
Mirpur town was virtually devastated and destroyed on the black day of 10 Magar (25th of Nov 1947). The entire town was burnt by the Kabyalli Pathans (raiders) fully backed by Pakistan army. Helpless and innocent Hindus and Sikhs were burnt alive or murdered with swords and bullets. To an estimate only 5000 could survive out of about 25000 including refugees from neighbouring areas.
It is a matter of shame that even after over six decades the authorities have not been able to solve the permanent  settlement issue of these refugees even when they know  that for Mirpur refugees they have nothing to give them even if the Pak occupied  Kashmir is taken back, as their houses and properties are no more in existence after Mangla Dam construction since 1960. Even  Pakistan Govt has settled the claims of all those Mirpuries who were uprooted from Mirpur and about 190 surroundings villages which have gone under the lake water of Mangla Dam in 1960.
Raheem ki Masjid Ram ka Mandir Doob Chuka Hai
Tera-Mera Ek Sapnon Ka Ghar Doob Chuka Hai
Lmah-Lmah Jheel Ke Ghara Pani Main
Ek Zinda Tehzeeb Ka Manzer Doob Chuka Hai


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