Date: 07 Sep 2007


The declaration of independence
BBC Memoryshare Team on behalf of Hardev Singh Sohal's memory of 17/08/1947 - 20/08/1947
I come from a village, Solkhian which lies halfway between Ropar and Kurali. At the time of partition I was 7 years old, I vaguely remember seeing clouds of smoke rising from the surrounding villages deserted by the Muslims. A couple of days after the declaration of independence, a whole caravan of Muslims were being escorted from Ropar to Kurali. 

It was pouring down with heavy rain, announcements were being made on the loud speakers and guns were being fired in the air to keep the attackers away. My father was an army officer; his regiment was 8th Punjab regiment which consisted of Sikhs and Muslims. In 1945 he moved to civil service. He had a Muslim colleague whom other Sikhs and Hindus colleagues decided to kill. My father guarded his house all night holding a gun and ensured his safe pass to Pakistan. 

Transcribed from Hardev Singh Sohal talking to Umi Prasad, BBC Radio Merseyside.