A sad story about the horrors in village Sunni in Hoshiarpur.
Punjabi writer Gulzar Singh Sandhu at his ancestral village Sunni in Hoshiarpur district. (HT Photo)
Gulzar Singh Sandhu (82), who penned the pain of the village, says “I was a just a 12-year-old and those incidents left a terrible impression on me. I saw my best friend Noora being killed in front of me and his sister with whom I was infatuated being abducted by marauders from outside.
He adds, “Our village had a large population of Muslim vegetable growers and they had joined the rest of the village on August 15, 1947 in the Independence celebrations. Later, it was suggested that they convert to Sikhism so that their lives could be saved in those communally charged times. The Muslims did so and were given iron bracelets and yellow patkas.” However, a band of goons from outside the village later identified them and killed them, he regrets.
The writer goes on to say, “Redemption came to Sunni when people of the village were able to protect two Muslim girls, who were abducted and somehow fled and came back seeking help from the village elders. Not only did the villagers give them shelter but attacked the abductors when they came again to forcibly take the girls away. They killed the three men and the girls were safely escorted to Pakistan.”