Shekhupura, also known as Qila Sheikhupura (Urdu: شیخُوپُورہ , Punjabi: شیخُوپُور), is a city in the Pakistani province of Punjab. Founded by the Mughal Emperor Jehangir in 1607, Sheikhupura is the 16th largest city of Pakistan by population and is the headquarters of Sheikhupura District. The city is an industrial center, and satellite town, located about 38 km northwest of Lahore.
Sheikhupura during the Partition of India
- Now let me give you a sample of the leadership which Muslim society has produced so far, and in an ample measure. The foremost that comes to my mind is Liaqat Ali Khan, the first Prime Minister of Pakistan. Immediately after partition, there was a shooting in Sheikhupura in which many Hindus who were waiting for repatriation in a camp, were shot down. There was a great commotion in India, and Pandit Nehru had to take up the matter in his next weekly meeting with Liaqat Ali in Lahore. The Prime Minister of Pakistan had brought the Deputy Commissioner of Sheikhupura with him. The officer explained that the Hindus had broken out of the camp at night in the midst of a curfew, and the police had to open fire. Pandit Nehru asked as to why the Hindus had broken out of the camp. The officer told him that some miscreants had set the camp on fire. Pandit Nehru protested to Liaqat Ali that this was an amazing explanation. Liaqat Ali replied without batting an eye that they had to maintain law and order. This exemplifies the quality of leadership which Muslim society has produced so far.…
- Hamid Dalwai. As quoted in Goel, S. R. (1994). Defence of Hindu society.
- Dear My. Jinnah, The refugee problem is assuming gigantic proportions. The only limit that I can see to it is that set by the Census reports. According to reports the movement across the border runs into a lakh or so a day. At Chuharkana in the Sheikhupura district I saw between a lakh and a lakh and a half of Sikhs collected in the town and round it in the houses, on the roofs and everywhere. It was exactly like the Magh Mela in Allahabad. It will take 45 trains to move them, even at 4,000 people per train or if they are to stay there, they will have to be given 50 tons of ata a day. At Govindarh in the same district there was a collection of 30,000 or 40,000 Mazbi Sikhs with arms. They refused even to talk to the Deputy Commissioner, and Anglo-Indian, who advanced with a flag of truce. They shot at him and missed. Finally arrangements were made to evacuate the lot. I am telling every one that I don’t care how the Sikhs get across the border: the great thing is to get rid of them as soon as possible. There is still little sign of the 3 Lakhs Sikhs in Lyallpur moving, but in the end they too will have to go.
- Letter dated 5-9-47 from Sir Francis Mudie to the Quid-i-Azam (Jinnah) No. 2 Government House, Lahore. 5th September, 1947 in Gurbachan Singh Talib in Muslim League Attack on Sikhs and Hindus in the Punjab 1947, 1950, Amritsar: Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee pp 307ff, 137-8
- But the systematic manner in which Pakistan leaders are attempting to paint the people of this country as demons out to destroy innocent Muslims, while hiding, it not defending, the horrible outrages perpetrated by members of their own community from Calcutta to Sheikhupura is nothing but an attempt to defame this country and throw dust in the eyes of the outside world regarding the crimes committed by their co-religionists. They also know, as does everyone in this country, that the Punjab disaster was but the culminating act of the tragedy which began with the unprincipled campaign of communal hated and violence which they and their party leaders had been preaching for years as the only means of securing the ambition of their heart, namely, the separation of a part of this country where they could play the role of rulers, even though at the cost of unexampled suffering and misery to their own co-religionists both in Pakistan and India.
- The Hindustan Times in its editorial dated October 23, 1948. in Gurbachan Singh Talib in Muslim League Attack on Sikhs and Hindus in the Punjab 1947, 1950, Amritsar: Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee
- In March and April 1947, Sikhs had been brutally massacred and looted and they were abused as cowards because they had not reacted at once with violence. As a matter of fact Lord Mountbatten yielded to his pro-Muslim advisers and stationed the major portion of the Punjab Boundary Force in East Punjab with the result that there was no force to check or control the terrible massacres of Hindus and Sikhs that occurred in Sheikhupura and other places. We should certainly like an impartial investigation into the events of those days and we have no doubt it will be found that while, on the Indian side, it was the spontaneous outburst of a people indignant at what they considered the weakness and the appeasement policy of their leadership, on the Muslim side, the League, the bureaucracy, the police and the army worked like Hitler’s team with the tacit if not open approval of those in charge of the Pakistan Government.
- Editorial entitled “Who Was Responsible?” The Hindustan Times (July 7, 1948) . Wednesday, July 7, 1948. “Who was Responsible?” in Gurbachan Singh Talib in Muslim League Attack on Sikhs and Hindus in the Punjab 1947, 1950, Amritsar: Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee pp 248 ff
Gurbachan Singh Talib
- Sheikhupura Hindus and Sikhs were perhaps, after Rawalpindi and Multan, the worst sufferers at the hands of the Pakistani fanaticism and cold-blooded murderous frenzy. The blow fell on them suddenly and swifly-leaving between 10,000 and 20,000 of them dead in two days. The conspiracy that was hatched in Sheikhupura between the Muslim Leaguers, the Civil Officers, Police and Military for the extermination of Hindus and Sikhs of this town and the district governed by it, is perhaps the worst on human record, showing calculated devilry on such a large scale.
- p 167
- As soon as the Award of the Boundary Commission was announced and they knew that Sheikhupura had been awarded to Pakistan, the Muslim Leaguers and their allies, the Pakistan Police and Military, feverishly began to perfect and execute their plans for the looting and murdering of Hindus and Sikhs. Attacks on the countryside began as early as the 18th August; and within a week Sikhs and Hindus everywhere in villages,.. were being driven out en masse. During this time the plan was also made by which Sheikhupura town and other towns in the district were also to be cleared of Hindus and Sikhs.
- Sikhs were being chased. The Muslim mob was followed by the military. When Sikhs gave a fight the Muslim mob retreated. Then the military took the lead and took up positions against Hindu-Sikh areas at about 2 o’clock (day). By about 5 o’clock the Hindu-Sikh population of this area had been killed, and the houses were in flames. Muslim mobs now swelled and spread out to attack to different parts of the town. Street after street was surrounded by Muslim mobs, military and police. The looting, burning and murdering continued all over the town for more than 24 hours, and stopped only on the evening of the 26th. Some Hindus and Sikhs saved themselves by hiding; others ran out during the night. 3,000 Hindus and Sikhs were killed by the military in Atma Singh’s factory alone. Altogether 15,000 Hindus and Sikhs were killed in this massacre. Pt. Nehru, at the time lie toured the West Punjab with Mr. Liaqat Ali Khan, estimated the number of those killed in Sheikhupura at 22,000. Women were molested. Hindus and Sikhs who resisted the molesters were shot dead on the spot. In the Namdhari Gurdwara two wells were filled with the bodies of Hindu and Sikh women who committed suicide to save themselves from dishonour. Two other wells were similarly filled... This is in brief the tragic story of Sheikhupura.
- p 169-70
- The countryside of Sheikhupura, like that of Lahore was combed for Sikhs and Hindus, who were turned out of their houses, and murdered in large numbers. Muslims fell upon Hindus and Sikhs all over the district with a brutality and thoroughness the extent of which it is difficult to imagine...
- p 170
- One of the memorable and heroic battles given by Sikhs took place at Bhuler Chak 119, in the jurisdiction of Sangla Hill Police Station. This large village was attacked on the 30th August. This village is located close to the borders of other districts, notably Gujranwala and Sialkot. All through August Muslims of the neighbouring areas continued to make preparations for attacks on Sikhs, with the active complicity of Muslim officials. After the 15th August, Bhular was the centre where Hindus and Sikhs of a considerable radius around came together for shelter. On the 30th, Muslims sent an ultimatum to the Sikhs of this place to vacate Bhuler, which the Sikhs indignantly rejected. Then Muslim mobs and police attacked from all sides. On the 1st September about 25,000 Muslims had gathered for attack. This mob attack, however, failed to break the morale of the Sikhs. Then armed police and Baluch Military stepped in to help the Muslim mob. Finding that the fight was unequal, Sikhs decided to die fighting, and killed their own womenfolk to save them from dishonour. A fierce and desperate battle ensued after this. Sikhs set fire to their own homes and property. About 200 Sikhs met their death in this engagement. The rest evacuated, fighting.
- p 173