Movement of refugees

Official report by India’s Ministry of Information on population movements, 2nd November 1947 (DO 133/60)



Ministry of Information,
New Delhi November 2, 1947

Military Evacuation Organisation, India’s advanced headquarters at Lahore, under the command of Brigadier Mohite, have finalised plans to speed up the movement of non-Muslim refugees from West Punjab to India. More refugee trains will be run shortly and more Army and civilian transport is being made available to complete evacuation within the shortest possible time. Special arrangements are being made for the removal of the aged, woman and children.

Clearance of non-Muslim refugees from pockets in West Punjab continues steadily.

On October 29, six thousand non-Muslims arrived in India by refugee trains from Lahore and 3,000 from Lyallpur. Three thousand Muslim refugees each from Hoshiarpur and Ludhiana were moved by train to Pakistan.

The following were moved in motor lorries by Military Evacuation Organisation, Pakistan on October 29:-

From Lahore to India: 520
From Gujranwala to India: 400

From Ambala to Pakistan: 900

Eight thousand Muslim refugees who were unable to walk long distances were moved by train from Ludhiana to Pakistan on October 30. Seven hundred and seven Muslims were moved by rail from Gidharbaha to Hindumalkot on the Abohar-Minchinabad line.

Three non-Muslim refugee trains with 13,000 persons from Pakistan reached Amritsar on October 31. On the same day four refugee specials carrying 15,500 Muslim refugees passed through Amritsar and two specials with 10,000 Muslims arrived at Forozepore from Ludhiana enroute to Pakistan.

There were foot movements of Muslim refugees on October 31. 50,000 Muslims left Amritsar from for Wagah. 25,000 Muslims reached Amritsar from Jandiala and 20,000 Muslims arrived at Kartarpur from Beas. 40,000 Muslims moved to Kartarpur from Beas.

In Ferozepore district, 200 Muslim refugees and five abducted girls were recovered from various pockets and sent over to Pakistan on October 28.

Six hundred non-Muslim converts and abducted men, women and children were moved in motor lorries to Lahore. Seventy-two Muslims, including five abducted girls, were cleared from Patti, Adampur, Pamunwala, Durepala and Sanawala and moved to Pakistan.

Five abducted Muslim girls were recovered from Anipur in Jullundur area, on October 29 in the East Punjab. Troops of the 2nd Assam Regiment recovered 16 Muslim abducted women and children at Radapur and handed them over to their relatives. Two non-Muslim abducted girls were recovered by Pakistan troops at Ganda Singh Wala, 4 miles west of Kasur, and handed over to Indian troops.

At Ravi Bridge, 4 miles South-east of Narowal 17 non-Muslim women with children were recovered by Pakistan troops and handed over to Indian troops.

Families of Royal Indian Navy and Army personnel were moved to India from Sargodha, Multan, Sianvali and Phillawan in Pakistan.

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