Untold story of Muzaffrabad attack

Balwant Singh

On 21st & 22nd of October-1947 Pakistani along with tribals attacked Muzaffrabad from both routes of Ramkot & Kohala. Muzaffrabad was the gateway of Kashmir. Most of the forces of the Maharaja betrayed him and joined Pakistani forces along with arms and ammunition. The invasion was so planned that the Commandant of State forces Narayan Singh and Deputy Commissioner of Muzaffrabad Dhuni Chand were killed and remaining Dogra forces retreated towards Poonch to save their lives thus rendering the law and order machinery ineffective.
Early in the morning, huge Pakistani invaders reached out skirts of Muzaffrabad city. Dera Sant Gufah a Sikh religious shrine was located at the bank of river Kishan Ganga. The place used to be the main centre of Sikhism in the area, Dera Gufah was a religious shrine of Sikhism. Followers of this shrine were from Hazara upto Peshawar of Pakistan, Muzaffrabad and up to Kashmir. They used to visit, worship and stay at night at Dera complex.
Minority community of Hazara Pakistan and bordering area of Muzaffrabad had migrated from their places to save their lives and taken shelter in Dera Gufah. As usual early in the morning, Sant Deva Singh Ji started reciting Gurbani path of Sukhmani Sahib. Others amonmg Sant Kishan Singh Ji of Dera Gufah Sant Pyara Singh Ji of Garhi Habib-ullah Pakistan, Zaildar Gyan Singh ji of Seri, Sant Bhagwan Singh Ji of Pathika and other large gathering including above mentioned migrated sangat were listening Gurbani. All of a sudden Pakistani invaders started heavy shelling from bridge side on Dera Gufah complex, Sant Deva Singh Ji got killed by a bullet and fell on Guru Granth Sahib. Sant Krishan Singh Ji, Sant Payara Singh ji, Zaildar Gyan Singh Ji, Sant Bhagwan Singh Ji and old Mata of Dera Gufah and hundreds others Sikhs women children were killed at Dera Gufah complex. After huge messacre in Dera Gufah complex, the whole shrine was destroyed in heavy mortar shelling.
The invaders then entered the city Muzaffrabad and started killing and looting the properties of the minority community. No Government machinery was to control this destruction.
Gurudwara Chathipathshai Naluchi was located on a small hill top in Muzaffrabad. Sikh youths and Ex. Service men from, far and near gathered in the “Gurudwara Chathipathshai Naluchi,” and started attack on invaders with whatever arms and ammunition were available with them. They made improvised tophs and used successfully on invaders. This was the first so called attack to save Kashmir which continued as a retaliatory attack for 11 to 12 hrs. Commanding Officer of Pakistani forces then directed their forces for seizure of gurudwara complex from all side and ordered movement of forces towards Srinagar Kashmir. Entry to gurudwara Chathipathshai Naluchi was blocked and water facility was disconnected. Sikh remained confined while attacking invaders from gurudwara Chathipathshai Naluchi for three days without drinking water. After three days few of them came out from gurudwara complex voluntarily for fetching water from river Jehlum and all were killed en route later on all were killed inside and around gurudwara Chathipathshai Naluchi.
Pakistani think tank had developed links with local majority community from Muzzaffrabad to Baramullah and up to Kashmir 2 to 3 months prior to attack. So that capture of Kashmir became an easy affair.
From Kohala to Baramulla, Sikhs residing in Kotlie, Garhi, Hatia, Domeil, Bandhi, Nainsukh Chakothi, Dardkot, kathnayar faced invaders with whatsoever arms were within them. They also used improvised tophs creating bid bangs, heavy smokes, to keep the Pakistani forces at bay for sometime. Sikhs in small groups tried best and retaliated the invaders though they were not having sufficient arms and ammunition.
So many Sikhs were killed at many places. Sikhs were captured, kept in lines on Jhelum river side and shot so that their bodies may fall in river Jhelum. The water of river Jehlum at some places turned red in colour with the blood of Sikhs killed and thrown in river.
Muzaffrabad to Srinagar is a journey of 5 to 6 hrs. Due to sacrifice of Sikhs, residing en route from Kohala to Baramulla invaders failed to reach Srinagar from 21st October to 26th October in 1947. More than 20,000 Sikhs were killed in by invaders, in this invasion. Ladies became widow, children orphan. Young Sikh women were captured and taken to Pakistan. All ladies, children captured were forced to accept Islam, and were converted as Muslim by force. This horrible saga of genocide of Sikhs underlines the highest sacrifices made to save Kashmir.
Around 2 dozen nuns who were serving in Christian hospital Baramulla were assaulted/raped by Pakistani invaders. Their cases/stories are always highlighted by media/press. The unfortunate Sikh women and orphan converted as Muslim, still remember their kiths and kins and they always weep and live there as slaves. Due to shame they are not in position to show their faces to anyone.
This unforgetable genocide of Sikhs have not been recognized by State Government nor Central Government, or any political party/politician/media. No memorial/Sampark has been constructed in their memory for those who have laid their lives for the sake of Kashmir.