Oct 27 1947: Kashmiri Septuagenarian Recounts Horror

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Srinagar: Seventy-one year old Abdul Aziz Parrey from Lawaypora in the Srinagar city outskirts still remembers how Indian troops set ablaze Lawaypora, Shalteng, Maloora and Zainakot localites on 27 October 1947 when they disguised as Pakistani soldiers gunned down all but 500 tribal raiders from North Western Frontier of Pakistan.

Aziz’s family lived in Lawaypora when Indian troopers landed in Kashmir on 27 October 1947. “I still remember people coming out from their dilapidated houses during the intervening dreadful night of October 26 and 27 after hearing high pitched neighing of horses. The horsemen were the Maharaja Hari Singh’s forces who had been retreating from Uri Baramulla after Pakistani tribal’s had chased them away. On October 27 morning the Patiala Sikh Force marched  through our locality and surprisingly on the same day during afternoon hours, Pakistani tribal’s in dark green vehicles too marched through Lawaypora Baramulla road. The Pakistan tribal’s were headed by a tall commander who was fully armed. People were shocked and surprised and they all started believing that Pakistan has controlled whole of Kashmir Valley,” CNS quoted Aziz as saying on the eve of landing anniversary. "Sensing trouble people from Lawaypora, Shalteng, Maloora and Zainakot localites fled from their homes", Aziz recounted..

“The Pakistani tribal’s were present in Shalteng and other areas on 27 October. Indian troops adopted a different strategy, the strategy that left even local population befuddled and confused. They painted their armoured vehicles on the pattern of Pakistan and even swirled Pakistani flags on them. While marching through the roads the Indian troops even raised pro-Pakistan slogans and whosoever responded in affirmative to those slogans was put to death", Parrey claimed.

"In Shalteng area, where Pakistani tribal’s were present in hundreds did the same folly. They took Indian armoured vehicles as Pakistani vehicles and were thus gunned down. I don’t know how many of Pakistani tribal’s died in the Shalteng area but my memory is still fresh and I know that more than 70 civilians died in Zainakot and 7 civilians lost their lives in Lawaypora, when soldiers set Lawaypora, Shalteng, Maloora and Zainakot localites on fire.

“Those seven who were killed in Lawaypora included the father son duo.” Aziz identified those killed in Lawaypora as Sanaullah Sheikh, Ghulam Muhammad Sheikh, Muhammad Abdullah Sheikh, Abdul Samad Sheikh, Abdul Rahim Sheikh, Muhammad Sabir Sheikh and Abdul Satar Sheikh.

He said that only thing Sheikh Abdullah did at that time was that he provided two tree logs to each of the family head to reconstruct their houses. 

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