It is estimated up to a million people were killed during the Partition, with the Punjab suffering the highest death toll - Imperial War Museum, London

90 women jump into well to avoid capture

15th April, 1947

About a month ago, a Muslim communal army 3,000 strong, armed with sticks, tommy guns and hand grenades surrounded it. The villagers defended themselves as best they could. They had two guns which they put to good use. But in the end they had to raise the white flag.

Negotiation followed. A sum of Rs. 10,000 was demanded by the besiegers. It was promptly paid. The intruders gave solemn assurance that they would not come back. The promise was broken the next day.

They returned to demand more money and in the process hacked to death 40 of the defenders. Heavily outnumbered, they were unable to resist the onslaught. Their women held a hurried meeting and came to the conclusion that all was lost except their honour. Following the example of Indian women of by-gone days, they decided to evade inglorious capture. Ninety women jumped into a small well. Only three were saved. There was not enough water in the well to drown them all.

Extract from Muslim League Attack on Sikhs and Hindus in the Punjab 1947 compiled in 1947 by Sardar Gurbachan Singh Talib, Principal of the Lyallpur Khalsa College, Jullundur, and published in 1950 by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC). Read the Complete Book

Suggested Reading

- Muslim League Attack on Sikhs and Hindus in the Punjab - 1947, Gurbachan Singh Talib (SGPC, 1947) Read the Complete Book Online
- Stern Reckoning, Gopal Das Khosla (Oxford India Paperbacks, 1949)
- Now it can be told, A.N. Bali (The Akashvani Prakashan Ltd., 1949) Download Complete Book (PDF)