I have noticed in several accounts of refugees mentioning about the massacre of Hindus and Sikhs at in September 24, 1947. Here are excerpts from different sources along with the links to the articles for further reading. When the train stopped at Kamoke (or Kammoke) the Muslims from the adjoiing villages attacked the train. Approximately 5,000 people had collected to go in the train. Out of them between 600 to 700 were women. A lot of historians have mentioned that this was one of the largest train massacre that occurred during the Partition.
A convoy of 6 loaded trucks picked all the non-Muslims from Khewra and reached Pind Dadan Khan. Lajwanti was accompanied by her husband, her one and a half-year old son, her uncle Ganda Mal, his wife Karma Wali and their little daughter, all in one truck. At the railway station, a large number of refugees awaited the train to India. This was the last refugee train to leave Pakistan. They left for Ferozepur via Lahore on the next day under the guard of 15 soldiers of the Pakistan Army and reached Kamoke by night. They travelled without water and even when the train stopped, nobody dared to get down.
That night was spent at the railway station. The next morning, the police ordered everybody to get down and started searching the train, the search continued for two hours. All men were disarmed including those with the license. They were told that the weapons will be returned before the move. After the search, passengers were asked to settle in the train so that the journey can be resumed. As the engine whistled, a huge Muslim crowd appeared from one side. Armed with daggers, rifles, knives and sticks, they shouted “Ya Ali” and charged the train.
On entering the compartments, they killed the men and shifted the women aside. The police, present at the platform, sided with the assailants and shot any passengers who tried to get out of the train. The military fired in the air, initially but after a while they also joined the mob in killings. Minutes later, all the men were dead.
The women were taken out and all jewelry and valuables were removed. After the loot, they were distributed amongst the raiders. Lajwanti was taken by Abdul Ghani, a tonga driver, to his house and she spent the next one month in great misery. During the assault, her son, tied to her bosom was also snatched away despite her protests. When Abdul Ghani left the house for work, she would go house to house to look for her son. Besides Lajwanti, the entire earth had lost her motherhood. During her search, she found multitudes of Hindu women in the locality, living under similar conditions.
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Another eye witness account of this massacre is as follows:
Statement of Sh. Santosh Kumari, wife of Puran Nath Sethi (20) Care of Garrison Engineer, Ranchi.
My father Ch. Manohar Lal Anand, Overseer, was employed in Dandot factory at Dandot. A refugee train left Pind Dadan Khan on September 23, 1947. My parents and younger sister, aged 9. and two brothers, aged 4 and 13, and my daughter of one year, were with me in the train. This train reached Kamoke Railway Station at 6 p.m. the same day and was stopped there by the Muslim Military escort with the train. They said that there was danger ahead. They further said that the train would stop at Kamoke Railway Station for the night. We spent the entire night in the train. The Muslim escort was on the platform. Next morning at 8 a.m. Kamoke police came there and searched the train for weapons. During the night an attack was apprehended but it did not materialise, as they knew that refugees had a lot of arms and would be able to defend themselves. During the search the police took possession of all the weapons which were with the refugees. The military officer incharge of the train at first did not agree to the search and he told the police that a search would be conducted at Lahore station. Shah Didar Hussain, Sub-Inspector of Police, Kamoke, however, insisted that he must carry out the search then and there. When the search was made a lot of ornaments and cash were taken away and at this even the Military escort consented to the search. After this police, led by the said Sub-Inspector wanted to attack the train, but once again the Military officer told him that he would prevent the attack on the train. The Sub-Inspector aimed his pistol at the Military officer and made him agree to the attack on the train. At about 12 p.m. a concerted attack was made on the train by the police and military and the armed mob. The attack continued till 5 p.m.
The attackers had with them knives, spears and other lethal weapons. Military and police fired at those refugees who got down from the train and tried to escape. No man was spared. Women and children were snatched away and taken to the neighbouring villages round Kamoke. A Muslim resident of Gakhar caught hold of me and dragged me out of the train and threw me on the railway platform. At this I became unconscious and when I regained my consciousness, I found myself in the house of this Muslim’s relative. When I was dragged from the train my baby girl was with my mother. When I was thrown on the platform I saw my father still alive. Only 2-3 male refugees were on the platform and the remaining had been finished. The women of the household in the house of the Muslim asked me to remove my bloodstained clothes, which I did. They gave me instead old and worn out clothes which I put on. The women left me and I went upstairs. They also tried to dissuade me from crying. After they had gone I dozed off and was awakened by a girl who came to snatch away the “dopatta” which had been given to me and was slightly better than the other clothes. After the girl had taken away the dopatta I heard noise outside the house. The Muslims entered the house and shouted to the women to take me upstairs and from there take me to the other side of the village from where the man would take me in the tonga to Gakhar. I told him that I would jump off the roof, as I was under the impression that Hindu military was there and was trying to rescue me. The neighbours told the Muslims that all the houses would be searched and as the authorities knew that I was in that house they would be able to recover me. I then myself came down and found the Muslim Leaguers blocking the door. They told me that in case I accompanied them to the camp of girls from the train I should be able to meet my kith and kin. I accompanied them to a flour mill where I was put in that room along with them. This was in the town of Kamoke. They told us that they had in their possession other children who would be delivered to us next morning, but they contradicted each other as the other denied this fact. Members of Muslim League told us that we would all be killed. They also said that we should be married to Muslims and made to live with them. They opened the door of that room and a crowd of Changars, Sweepers, and other “Kamins” of various castes came in and took away most of the girls. Only 5 to 7 were left in one corner. The, Sayed who owned the mill told us that he took strong exception to the behaviour of Muslims and that he would protect us. He told us to move into the adjoining room which was a bit dark. Then one policeman came there and said that all the girls must be returned and that they (the police) would dispose them of as they wished. Excepting 3 or 4 the rest of the girls were brought to the mill. The members of the Muslim League then started distributing the girls by handing one to each. I was sent to the house of one Mohd. Shafi, ex-Sub-Divisional Officer, Bhawalpur State and a brother of Police Head Constable Ghulam Dastgir. We were confined in that mill for 4 or 5 days and the distribution of girls took place after that. The Muslims in this period used to threaten us but did not molest us. When I reached the house of Mohd. Shafi I found his womenfolk there. Mohd. Shafi behaved nicely enough. I was married to him before I left the mill. At the time of “Nikah” I told Mohd. Shafi I had my “uncleared” other relations alive in Pakistan and also my husband and others in India and that I would wait for six months. If during this period I was riot rescued I should then continue to live there. Mohd. Shafi agreed to this arrangement. I told Mohd. Shafi my father was also in service in Bhawalpui. State. Mohd. Shafi paid due consideration to this fact.
Another Hindu girl, Parkash of Dandot, was brought there and she lived with me. About two months ago the police came to the house and enquired about me. They said I should be sent to the police station to meet the Superintendent of Police. My younger brother Kanwal Nain was in the house of one Maulvi Lal Dirt. When he came to the mill one day he told me about my brother and he left my brother with me. Since then my brother lived with me until our rescue. The police asked me whether I wanted to go back to India. I told them unless my brother, mother and my daughter were rescued I should remain there. I was also interrogated by the Superintendent of Police, Gujranwala at Gujranwala. After that they brought me to Lahore. At Gujranwala where I went for my statement I was kept in the house of one Sheikh among his womenfolk and they treated me nicely. From Gujranwala I was brought to Lahore and was produced before the Inspector-General, Qurban Ali Khan. He told me that enquiry had been made from Delhi about me by somebody and if I wanted to go back, he promised he would make arrangements for my going to India. I told him that I would go to India and he should make arrangements for rescuing my mother, brother, sister and my child. He then rang up Mr. Bakshi, Secretary to the Deputy High Commissioner, who brought me from the Inspector-General of Police. I came over to the Deputy High Commissioner’s residence about 6 days back. During the days that I was in the possession of the Muslims they did not misbehave. Other girls who met me complained about bad treatment and non-provision of food and various other discomforts.
A Hindu doctor who has been converted to Islam is residing at Kamoke. Two refugees girls named Ram and Raj of Pind Dadan Khan were married to his two sons.
Parkash, the girl who came to the house in which I was confined was left there when I was called to the Police Station, as she was taking her bath. I could not inform that I was going to the Police Station where I made no mention about her. I, however, mentioned this fact to the Inspector-General of Police, Lahore.
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Another article is posted here:
Statement of Shrimati Laj Wanti, widow of Shri Manak Chand Age 23 years, caste Khatri, resident of Nurpur Sethi, District Jhelum, to the Chief Liaison Officer, Lahore.
My husband Shri Manak Chand was employed in the Workshop of Alkali Chemical Corporation of India, Limited at, Khewra. We were living in the quarters attached to the Company. Towards the end of Bhadon (August 1947) a Muslim mob attacked Khewra and a large number of houses were burnt. The Manager of the Alkali Chemical Corporation of India, Limited being a European, the premises of the Company were not attacked and employees and quarters in which they were living were saved. The Manager, however, asked all Hindu employees to get ready for evacuation.
Accordingly, on the 6th of Asuj (beginning of September, 1947) the Hindu employees left Khewra by trucks. 6 trucks were loaded. I, my husband, my son 1½ years old, my uncle Ganda Mal, his wife Karma Wali and their small daughter 1½ years old were all in one truck. We left Khewra at about 4 p.m. and reached Pind Dadan Khan at about 4.30 p.m. We found a large number of non-Muslims collected at the railway station. It was said that the train was to leave Pind Dadan Khan and would be the last train for the refugees to leave Pakistan.
Approximately 5,000 people had collected to go in the train. Out of them between 6 to 7 hundred were women. The train left Pind Dadan Khan at 10 p.m. on 7th of Asuj.
Fifteen men of the Pakistan army were with the train as guards. We were given railway tickets for Ferozepur and Rs. 3/8/- were charged per passenger.
It was said that the train would go straight to Ferozepur.
The train reached Kamoke railway station at about 8 p.m. on the 7th Asuj. In the way no water was supplied to the passengers. Even where the train stopped water was not given, as it was said that the passengers were all Hindus. No other provisions were also allowed to be purchased by the passengers for the same reason.
The train stopped at Kamoke railway station for the whole of the night. At about 8 a.m. on the 8th of Asuj Wednesday the Police came to the railway station and started searching the train. Each and every article of the passengers was searched; even the persons of the women were searched. The search continued for about two hours. 97 guns and rifles were taken away, although all of them were licensed weapons and the licences were with the owners. Even pen-knives were taken away from the passengers. All passengers were told that the guns and rifles would be returned as soon as the train would start. After the search the passengers were asked to get into the train and their luggage into it.
When everybody had got into the train and as the engine was whistling to indicate that the train was going to start, a huge crowd of Muslims came from the side of the Mandi and factories. They were armed with rifles, chhuras, axes, barchas and other lethal weapons. They were shouting "Ya Ali"and came running. They entered the compartments of the train and started butchering male passengers. The police force including the Sub-Inspector and Assistant Sub-Inspector were present at the platform and they also joined in shooting down the passengers who tried to come out of the train. The Pakistan Military made a show of firing, but their fire was directed towards the sky and not the mob and after a short while they also joined the mob and the police in shooting down the passengers.
Those of the passengers who tried to run towards the platform out of the compartments were shot dead by the police and the military and those who went out of the compartments towards the maidan were butchered by the Muslim mob. In this way most of the passengers were either butchered or shot dead. A few who were taken as dead after having been injured were later rescued.
The women-folk were not butchered, but taken out and sorted. The elderly women were later butchered while the younger ones were distributed.
I saw an old woman who cried for water being caught hold of by her feet by a Muslim and flung twice on the ground and killed. The children were also similarly murdered. All the valuables on the persons of the women were removed and taken away by the mob.
Even clothes were torn in the effort to remove valuables. My son was also snatched away in spite of my protests. I cannot say who took him away. I was taken by one Abdul Ghani to his house. He was a tonga driver. I was kept in the house for over a month and badly used. I went to other houses to look after my son. I saw a large number of children but I was unable to find my son. During these visits I also saw a large number of Hindu women in the houses of the Muslim inhabitants of Kamoke. All of them complained that they were being very badly used by their abductors.
After about a month it was announced by beat of drum that the Hindu Military had arrived and those of the inhabitants who had Hindu women and children in their possession should produce them at the police station. On this account, I and many other women (about 150) were produced at the police station. During the period of a month, that I stayed in the house of Abdul Ghani the members of his family and he always said that there was no food in India, the relations of all Hindu women had been killed and no one was prepared to have them back into their homes and that even Mahatma Gandhi said that there was no food in India and therefore, no women or men who had been kept in Pakistan should return to India. We were also told that all the girls who would go to India would be made to stand in line and shot dead by the Indian Military because they were not fit for being returned to Hindu society and Hindu society was not prepared to take them back. Such propaganda was made in every Muslim house and all the women whom I met told me of it as I went from house to house in search of my son. One Muslim Mirassi named Barkat Ali who had also taken a young Hindu girl was boasting that he had with his own hands killed 50 men with his dagger and had been rewarded by the Sub-Inspector of Police, Kamoke, for his valour. We were also told that we must state before the police and other authorities that we were not willing to return to India. The 150 women who were produced at the station, Kamoke, were taken in tongas to Gujranwala. Out of the women collected only 20 got up and said that they wanted to return to India. I was one of them. There were 10 children with these women. The remaining lot was put into the trucks and sent back to Kamoke by the Sub-Inspector of Police. We were then taken to the Hindu refugee camp and put into trucks which brought us to Amritsar.
My uncle, my aunt and my husband were all killed at Kamoke railway station. I have not yet been able to trace my son and the daughter of my uncle and aunt must have also been similarly killed.
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