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Author Topic: When Jammu's Rivers Turned Red  (Read 1098 times)

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When Jammu's Rivers Turned Red
« on: November 07, 2008, 03:33:50 PM »
:sl:



By  Farooq A Ganai, IOL Correspondent
 
 
 
"Muslims were taken near the border and slaughtered like goats and sheep," Mukhti, 90, recalled.
 
JAMMU Haj Showkat Ali will always remember November 6, 1947, as the day his homeland Jammu valley was soaked in Muslim blood.



"I will never forget that day," the 70-year-old man told IslamOnline.net, closing his eyes remembering the bloody scenes in flash back.

Ali was only eight when nearly two hundred thousand Muslims were slaughtered by Hindu gangs and extremists in Jammu.

"I was pasturing the goats by the hills near our home when my mother asked me to come quickly," he recalls.

"Coming down the hills, I saw all the people of our village, nearly five thousands, carrying their belongings and moving out."

That was only a few hours before the carnage began.

"Our houses were burnt and looted by the attackers and the old aged people were beaten to death," says Ali.

Muslims in Jammu and Kashmir observe November 6 as the Jammu Martyrs Day.

It commemorates the killing of more than 250,000 Muslims in the region by Hindu extremists two months after the subcontinent was divided into Hindu-majority India and Muslim-majority Pakistan.

"On the way to Pakistan, we saw bloodshed and heard people crying for help," remembers Ali whose family joined the crowds who left their village to escape the killer gangs.

"I saw mothers dying, kids weeping and young Muslim girls rapped and then brutally killed."

Ali's own father, brother and sister were killed by the Hindu gangs.

"We could not save them," he remembers bitterly.

Valley of Death

Mukhti, a 90-year-old woman, is still haunted by the horror she witnessed 61 years ago.

"Muslims were taken near the border and slaughtered like goats and sheep," she told IOL.

Mukhti said while thousands of fearful Muslims were fleeing the valley, she headed for Jammu to look for her brother.

"The river Tawi was red from blood and half-dead people crying for help," she said as her hands trembled to the memory.

"My brother was riding a white horse whose legs turned red from the blood on the streets."

Ali Mohd, another survivor, remembers how hundreds of Muslim girls were either killed or forced to jump into the rivers to escape being raped by the Hindus.

"My own two daughters jumped in the river to save themselves from the attackers."

Mohd will always remember the scenes of rivers colored by blood of Muslims slaughtered by Hindu extremists.

"Jammu was then a valley of death."

Still Suffering 

Experts say the massacres of November 6 and the partition two months earlier were turning points for the Muslim existence in Jammu valley.

"The Muslim population in Jammu region was about 61% and the Hindu community was a minority," professor Zahir-Ud-Din, convener of the Jammu Muslim Coordination Committee (JMCC), told IOL.

"After that, Hindus from other areas settled in Jammu and the demography changed."

Zahir-Ud-Din says that thousands of fleeing Muslims left their properties behind.

"These houses are now under the control of government's Custodian Department."

Muslims who came back from Pakistan to reclaim their homes and properties never managed to get them back
 
http://www.islamonline.net/servlet/Satellite?c=Article_C&cid=1225697965630&pagename=Zone-English-News%2FNWELayout
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