Writer Salman Rashid writes about the stories of those involved in the killing of innocent people during the Partition riots. One is of Charan Singh of Buttar Khurd in Moga District who was involved in the killing Muslims and the other of Karim Buksh who killed Sikhs in Laliani (Kasur).
Back home in Buttar, young Charan Singh joined the mobs running amok across the country. They killed and looted, killed and looted, their hearts bursting with religious fervour and indignation at the needless deaths of all their co-religionists who had died in Pakistan. There was no remorse, no twinge of guilt upon doing in a fellow human being. It was as if men had descended to a level below the lowliest beasts. As more and more trainloads of dead Sikhs and Hindus arrived, the call to exact greater vengeance charged up Charan Singh. To add to this were the tales told by those lucky to have lost only their worldly possessions and made it across the border with their lives.
When the partition riots began, the police post of Laliani was in the charge of a Muslim inspector. Greatly prejudiced against non-Muslims, this man suggested to Jala Teli and his gang to do as they wished with the Sikhs, assuring them that he and his force would stand aside. And so when the riots began, the inspector invited Sardar Anant Singh to his police station to discuss expatriation procedures for Sikh families. There, outside the police station, Jala and his cohorts awaited the arrival of the good man. And there, in full view of the police force as well as of so many others who had benefited from his munificence, Karim Buksh and Jala attacked and slew Sardar Anant Singh Bhular.
With him gone, chaos descended upon the Sikh community. Leaderless and surrounded by mobs baying for blood, they sought refuge in the local gurudwara. The gang led by Jala Teli and his three cohorts set the temple alight. All those who had taken refuge in the house of worship perished in the flames. I do not know if it was good fortune or the injustice of Providence that Anant Singh’s family had already been expatriated to India there to grieve over the death of such a humane and benevolent person.