Balraj Madhok’s Efforts to Save Mirpur (Kashmir)
by Bal K. Gupta
Late Professor Balraj Madhok was a president of Jan Sangh (now BJP). In November 1947, he tried to save 25,000 Hindus and Sikhs surrounded by Pakistani army and Pathans.  Following are excerpts from book “Forgotten Atrocities: Memoirs of a Survivor of the 1947 Partition of India”.
“On November 23, Prem Nath Dogra and Professor Balraj Madhok, prominent Hindu leaders of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) met Brigadier Paranjpe, the Brigade Commander of the Indian Army in Jammu and requested him to send reinforcements to Mirpur surrounded by Pakisatni army.  Pranjape shared their anxiety but expressed his helplessness because—as per instructions from the Indian army generals—consultation with Sheikh Abdullah (chief administrator of J&K) was mandatory in order to deploy Indian troops anywhere in J&K. Pranjape also informed the delegation that Pandit Nehru was flying to Jammu again, en-route to Srinagar, on November 24. He suggested they approach Pandit Nehru and request him to give proper instructions to Sheikh Abdullah on the matter.
On November 24, Pandit Dogra and Professor Madhok met Pandit Nehru at the Jammu airport and, once again, told him about the critical situation in Mirpur. They requested him to order immediate Indian troop reinforcements to the beleaguered Mirpur City. Professor Madhok was amazed at Pandit Nehru’s response—Pandit Nehru flew into a rage and yelled that they should talk to Sheikh Abdullah.  Professor Madhok again told Pandit Nehru that Sheikh Abdullah was indifferent to the plight of the Jammu province and only Pandit Nehru could save the people of Mirpur. However, Pandit Nehru ignored all their entreaties and did not send any reinforcements to Mirpur.
Mirpur fell on November 25, when the Pakistani army used heavy artillery to break open the back gate of the walled town. The J&K army and local officers lost heart and retreated before evacuating the civilians, leaving the people to defend themselves. People began to run in terror. Occasional fights broke out with advancing Pakistanis and Pathans, which soon turned into routs, and the routs turned into a massacre. Only 2,500 people—including my uncles, Vishwa Nath, Mukund Lal and Suraj Parkash—out of approximately 25.0000 Hindus and Sikhs of Mirpur reached Jhangar (in India) safely with the retreating J&K army. The Pakistanis ruthlessly kidnapped or butchered the remaining over 20,000. The number of women abducted from Mirpur ran into approximately 5,000. The Pakistanis shamelessly paraded them and then sold them in the bazaars of Jhelum, Rawalpindi, and Peshawar (in Pakistan). The barbarities that the Pakistani troops and the Muslim Pathans committed upon civilians put to shame the worst orgies of rape and violence committed by the hordes of Genghis Khan, Tamerlane. The loot obtained by the Pakistanis from Mirpur, went into the tens of millions of rupees (equivalent to millions of US dollars). The Pakistanis and the Pathans dug the floor of every house in Mirpur in search of hoarded treasures.”
Prof.  Madhok was a politician of conviction and stood behind his principles.