Tuesday, 18 February 2014

The 1930 Civil Disobedience Movement in Peshawar Valley from the Pashtoon Perspective: Part II

By Syed Wiqar Ali Shah

This is the second of a three part series adapted from Syed Wiqar Ali Shah's article "The 1930 Civil Disobedience Movement in Peshawar Valley from the Pashtoon Perspective", published in the journal: Studies in History. Part I can be accessed here and click here  for the original article.

The annual meeting of the Azad School, Utmanzai was held on 19–20 April 1930, attended by members of Khudai Khidmatgar and its affiliated organizations and by a large number of people. Before providing further details of the appeal of the local Congress workers and its acceptance by the Khudai Khidmatgars, it is appropriate to give a brief account of the Khudai Khidmatgars and their relation with the local Congress. The Khudai Khidmatgars emerged as a powerful political force in the 1920s. Abdul Ghaffar Khan (1890–1988), a social worker from one of the influential Khan families of Utmanzai (Charsadda), had started taking keen interest in the reform movement of Haji Fazli Wahid, popularly known as the Haji Sahib of Turangzai. They concentrated on religious and social reforms. They were deadly against illiteracy and aimed at providing education, both modern and reli- gious to the Pashtoons. For this purpose many Azad Madrassas were established in various parts of the Peshawar Valley. However, the British could not tolerate these steps and soon Haji Sahib was forced to leave the settled areas and with his departure to the tribal areas, all such Madaris ceased to exist. Abdul Ghaffar Khan actively participated in both Khilafat and Hijrat movements.33 After the bit- ter experience of the Hijrat movement, he concentrated on Pashtoon politics. He met like-minded people and discussed with them the miserable condition of the Pashtoon society. Abdul Ghaffar Khan tried his best to convince them that they should work together from a single platform for the reformation of the Pashtoon society, to which they agreed. Their combined efforts resulted in the formation of Anjuman-i-Islah-al-Afaghana (Society for the Reformation of the Afghans). On 1 April 1921, the formal formation of the Anjuman was announced and Abdul Ghaffar Khan became its president. The main objectives of the Anjuman included the eradication of social evils, promotion of education and unity amongst the Pashtoons and encouragement of Pashto language and literature.34 Side by side with the Anjuman, they decided to focus upon the educational activities and revived the old network of the Azad Madaris. In April 1921, the first branch of Azad School was opened in Utmanzai, followed by other branches in different parts of the Province.35

Since the details of the Azad Schools and its impact upon the Pashtoons is out of the scope of the present research, I will confine myself to the formation of the Khudai Khidmatgar organization formed by Abdul Ghaffar Khan, supported by the same group of Pashtoon intelligentsia who were vocal in the reformation of the Pashtoon society since 1921. Actually they started with the setting up of Zalmo Jirga (Youth League) on the pattern of other similar organizations like the Young Turks, Young Afghans, etc but later on to accommodate the older people in November 1929 they formed the Khudai Khidmatgar (Servants of God) move- ment. Besides promotion of Pashto, their main objectives included the attainment of independence for Hindustan from colonial rule, through peaceful means, pro- motion of harmony between Hindus and Muslims and the political awakening of the Pashtoon youth.36 Within a short span of time it became very popular particu- larly in the rural areas, which were neglected by other organizations in the past. Its insistence upon the Pashtoon identity and adoption of non-violence attracted many people to its fold. There were some other factors, given below, which contributed to its popularity.
Various sections of the Pashtoon society interpreted the Khudai Khidmatgar programme in their own way. To the Pashtoon intelligentsia, it was a movement for the revival of Pashtoon culture with its distinct identity. To the smaller Khans, it was a movement that demanded political reforms for the province that would enfranchise them and give them a greater role in governance. Its anti-colonial stand suited the majority of the anti- establishment ulema, who always regarded British rule in the subcontinent as a ‘curse’. For the peasants and other poor classes it was against their economic oppressors, British imperialism and its agents—the pro-British Nawabs, Khan Bahadurs and the big Khans.37
As per the decision of the Peshawar Congress Committee, Agha Lal Badshah, Ali Gul Khan, Karim Bakhsh Sethi, Agha Jan Mohammad and Lala Usman also went to Utmanzai to participate in it.38 They were invited by the organizers of the meeting to speak to the audience. They made a fervent appeal to the participants of the meeting and urged them to support them against the British imperialism and join in the intended civil disobedience movement to be commenced on 23 April.The Khudai Khidmatgars and other volunteers present on the occasion pledged their participation to bolster the civil disobedience against the Raj.39

April 23, 1930: Massacre at Kissa Khani Bazaar, Peshawar

23 April 1930 is a milestone in the freedom struggle of the Pashtoonkhwa. This day created myths, symbols, heroes and sagas. ‘San Tees Shaheedan’ (Martyrs of Nineteen Thirty) enjoys a very respectable and prominent place in the province’s history. The incident has been highlighted by many prominent poets both in Pashto, Urdu and other languages. The focus of these poets remained on the atroc- ities committed by the British Government and the details of how the people of the Pashtoonkhwa faced it with resilience. Surprisingly, no communal colour was given to it and always was treated as a joint struggle of all communities living in the province against the imperialists to procure their freedom from the alien rul- ers. Mostly, in the narration of the ‘San Tees’ events, these poets focussed on the suppression and brutalities of the Government and the sufferings of the Frontier inhabitants. To arouse the public sentiments even in the present times, the leaders belonging to different walks of life always refer to the sacrifices of the Shuhada i Qissa Khani (the Martyrs of Qissa Khani) who ultimately won them freedom and are reminding people to follow their footsteps in courage, forbearance, defi- ance and steadfastness. Unfortunately, outside the province, it did not attract many readers and was not treated at par with 13 April (1919) another unforgettable day in Indian history when many Indians were brutally killed in Jallianwala Bagh, Amritsar (Punjab). Before turning to the events of 23 April, it is pertinent to men- tion that the Colonial administration provided a false figure of the casualties in Peshawar. According to the official estimates, about forty people were killed and around the same number were injured. The actual number of both dead and injured was far higher. After best efforts to collect the accurate information from various published and unpublished sources I place the estimate at around two hundred thirty killed and more than five hundred injured.

On 22 April the members of the Congress Committee Dr Syed Mahmud, Dr Saifuddin Kitchlew and Lala Dunichand, who were deputed by the central organization to inquire into the oppressive measures of the Government in the Frontier Province, were precluded from entering the province.40 When the news reached Peshawar, it worsened further the already tense situation in the city. To protest the government prevention order, the local Congress workers took out a procession which culminated in a public meeting at Shahi Bagh, Peshawar. Almost all the prominent leaders of the Congress and Naujawan Bharat Sabha registered their protest by condemning the government act and announced that they would stick to the decision of picketing from 23 April. To avoid public protest and picketing, the Government decided to arrest the prominent local leaders. Although the Government did not take any action against the local Congress leaders, they were kept under strict surveillance since Gandhi launched his Salt Satyagraha. The authorities were aware of the close association of some of the Congress workers with Abdul Ghaffar Khan and were a bit perturbed over the Khudai Khidmatgars’ pledge of full support to the planned picketing of the liquor shops. Olaf Caroe, a British officer then posted in Peshawar, reported that to avert unrest in the rural areas of the province, the authorities further resolved to also arrest all prominent leaders of the Khudai Khidmatgar organization.41

On the night between 22 and 23 April, nine42 prominent Congress and Sabha leaders were arrested and taken to Bala Hissar Fort. Two members of the recently formed War Council, Allah Bakhsh Barqi and Ghulam Rabbani Sethi, escaped arrest during night and decided to surrender peacefully to the authorities in the morning. On 23 April, around 9 o’clock, the aforementioned leaders were arrested from the Congress office and were taken to the Kabuli Thana (police station). Meanwhile, the news of the arrest of the national workers spread in the city. People in large numbers gathered in front of the Congress office and started rais- ing slogans of ‘Long Live Revolution’ and ‘Mahatma Gandhi ki Jey’. They were excited and angry to see their leaders in police custody. The leaders advised them to remain calm and move towards the Kabuli Thana. On its way, a tyre of the lorry carrying the prisoners got punctured. No one can say precisely whether it was by an accident or someone from the crowd did it intentionally. Alauddin Shah, the sub-inspector of police, was about to call another lorry when the arrested leaders requested that they would surrender to the authorities in the Kabuli Thana of their own accord and they should be let loose. The sub-inspector, who was observ- ing the situation closely, sensing the gravity of the situation and the mood of the crowd, roughly estimated about eight hundred, immediately agreed to the proposal and left the scene. The charged but unarmed and peaceful procession reached the Kabuli Thana and continued raising slogans in support of their leaders and Gandhi. The sub-inspector appealed to the crowd to disperse peacefully. The leaders went inside the Thana and the crowd started dispersing but still raising the slogans of ‘Gandhi ki Jey’ and ‘Inqilab Zinda Bad,’43 while all of a sudden an armoured car came running at a great speed and without blowing horn or raising any other kind of alarm, rushed into the crowd, in front of the Thana, and crushed twelve to fourteen people under its wheels. Seven people were killed on the spot while the remaining was left seriously injured.44 This was the first of the four armoured cars called by H.A. Metcalf, the Deputy Commissioner of Peshawar, who was alarmed at the presence of a big crowd in front of the Kabuli Thana. He probably wrongly perceived their presence as an attack on the Thana and sent an SOS to the army officials, stationed at the Peshawar cantonment to save them from the ‘hos- tile’ crowd. It was supplanted by brickbats from the exasperated crowd injuring some officials including the Deputy Commissioner. Someone from the refractory crowd set ablaze the armoured car and this was ensued by firing upon the protest- ing people. According to some sources, the indiscriminate firing started around 11 o’ clock and went on till 3 p.m. in the evening. Initially the shots were fired only from the armoured car. But later on when it was resumed it was on a more exten- sive scale, for a longer duration and both troops and armoured cars were used for firing. According to the Government-appointed the Sulaiman-Pankridge45 inquiry committee, thirty people were killed and thirty-three wounded, but this was not the final figure according to the same report.46 However, the Congress Inquiry Committee,47 chaired by Vithalbhai Patel, put the figures between two hundred and three hundred killed and many more wounded.48 Another report entitled, The Frontier Tragedy, published by the Khilafat Committee, Peshawar in 1930 while mentioning other atrocities of the British Government on the locals, did not give the exact number of people killed or wounded. It simply referred to the indiscrimi- nate firing of the British troops on unarmed people in the Qissa Khani Bazaar and which left the whole bazaar ‘strewn with dead bodies’. According to the same report,
Firing was continued for hours after the people had dispersed, in the by-roads, lanes, sub-lanes, balconies and roofs. Anybody and everybody were to be shot at sight. Such was this terrible day of 23 April—a red day in the Calendar of the Pathans—a day of wholesale slaughter’.49
The volunteers were not allowed to collect the dead bodies. The Khilafat Volunteers were fired upon and six of them were shot dead. According to eye-witness accounts50, closed Lorries were sent and many dead bodies were placed in them by British soldiers who secretly transported it to unknown places. After consulting many sources, a careful estimate suggests the total number of the dead around two hundred and thirty.51 However, this figure does not include the casualties of the second firing in Peshawar on 31 May killing eleven people and the deaths in other parts of the province including Takkar (Mardan), Utmanzai (Charsadda) and Spin Tangi (Bannu).

Apart from the massacre of the unarmed people in the Kissa Khani Bazaar, the day witnessed some other noteworthy incidents which require further highlighting as it proved to be a milestone in the freedom movement of South Asia but unfortunately remained unknown for decades and due to the sheer ignorance of scholars working upon the area, does not enjoy a deserving and appropriate place in South Asian history.

One of the remarkable episodes of the 23 April was the refusal of Garhwalis to fire upon the unarmed people. Like many other momentous events, this remark- able feature of the Kissa Khani Bazaar massacre, regarded as ‘very grave and more disturbing incident’52 also went unnoticed. After deciding to disperse the mob by using all available force, the British Commanding Officer ordered the Gurkas in the 2/18 Garhwal Regiment to fire. But to the utter surprise and aberration of the authorities, the Garhwalis, known for their loyalty to the Raj, defied the authority, refused to fire and argued that they would not fire upon the unarmed civilians. They bluntly told their officers that they were recruited to pro- tect their people from foreign invaders. They would definitely guard the frontiers of India against a foreign aggression but would not fire even a single shot against their own unarmed countrymen.53 This infuriated the British official to the extent that he immediately fired upon the Jamadar (a petty official) of the Garhwali regiment. The bullet missed its target and hit his horse which died on the spot. The Garhwalis were disarmed, arrested and sent to Abbottabad.54 Later on, sev- enteen of them were court-martialled in Bombay and sentenced to various terms of harsh imprisonment, varying from ten to twenty years’ duration.55 Chander Singh, the group leader, was sentenced to transportation of life; Narain Singh, for fifteen years and the rest, fifteen in number, were given three to ten years’ Rigorous Imprisonment.56 Garhwalis’ refusal to fire on the unarmed countrymen was eulogised by the local people who gathered in Chowk Yadgar under the auspices of Naujawan Bharat Sabha. Speakers paid glowing tributes to the Garhwalis for showing resilience and courage to refuse to fire upon the unarmed people and through various resolutions expressed their solidarity with them.57

Casualties at Kissa Khani: A Review

As pointed out, 23 April 1930 has been regarded as a ‘Red Day’ in the history of Pashtoonkhwa. A careful study suggests that about two hundred and thirty people were killed on that day. Keeping in view the big number of casualties, it is only second to Jallianwala Bagh, Amritsar (Punjab), where more than three hundred people were killed on 13 April 1919. In Jallianwala Bagh, the troops occupied the main gate and other entrances of the walled public park and fired directly on the people, many of whom died by jumping in the wells located in the park. The question that continues to bother scholars working on the area is rationale behind the large number of casualties in the massacre at Kissa Khani Bazaar which has so many entry and exit points. There could be multiple reasons for this. The armoured cars started firing upon the people suddenly, without even firing the warning shots. Usually in such situations, the accepted norm is that troops initially fire warning shots and only if they see a persistent stubbornness in the people, which poses a serious threat to the authorities should minimum fire be used to disperse the people. In this particular case, no warning shots were fired and the people were targeted directly. Many dead bodies were found having more than one bullet wound. This was in itself a clear fact that the troops were not interested in the mere dispersal of the mob, but were directed to kill as many as possible. In some cases, the injured who were unable to move, were also killed, while the fir- ing went on indiscriminately for hours. The protesting people in the main bazaar were the direct target of the bullets fired by the troops because ‘shoot on sight’ orders were issued by the officials. Many people who appeared on the balconies of their houses were also fired upon and killed. Even beggars were not spared, two of them being found among the dead. Two women, who most probably had climbed on to the roof tops of their houses out of curiosity to see what happened in the main bazaar, also perished. Local leaders advised the protesting people to disperse peacefully. Hakim Abdul Jalil Nadvi, a prominent national worker, pre- cipitating violence, addressed the gathering and requested them to leave that place immediately because he sensed the changed attitude of the colonialists who were not willing to excuse the people for defying British authority. He knew the nature of Ise Monger, the Police Official, who was seen giving instructions to the troops by pointing out his fingers towards the mob. But as was expected by many, the charged people refused to listen to the advice of Hakim Abdul Jalil, slogans were raised against him and some of them even accused him of being a British agent. Hakim Abdul Jalil became disappointed with the attitude of the people and he left the place immediately. In the absence of sincere leaders, the protesting people were masters of their own destiny and they were not giving heed to any advice. In addition to that, many were killed while retrieving the dead bodies from the main bazaar. They were not even allowed to rescue the injured ones and help the wounded in providing them medical care. A popular perception developed that the British Government disposed of the dead bodies in three ways: that they secretly threw them in the rivers; that they were buried in a ditch at an unknown place; and, that they were burnt to ashes.58

Dr Khan Sahib (d. 9 May 1958), elder brother of Abdul Ghaffar Khan and a retired Captain from the Indian Medical Services, played a vital role in treating the injured who were denied medical treatment in the local Government hospitals. Since his early retirement from the IMS, Dr Khan Sahib was doing his privatemedical practice in a rented house at Mohalla Fazlul Haq Sahibzada in Charhi Kooban Bazaar, Peshawar. While the younger brother was fully involved in socio- political activities, Dr Khan Sahib kept himself aloof from the public life. After his return from England, he lived in Peshawar along with his English wife, which was his second marriage and visiting family in Utmanzai occasionally. On the day of the occurrence, he was informed of the firing, depredations and a big number of deaths in the Kissa Khani bazaar. He rushed from his clinic and tried to reach the place as early as possible. Although he was stopped from proceeding further by the troops initially, since, he himself was a retired commissioned army official and had friends both in the army and civil administration, he managed to reach the troubled spot. He immediately started rescuing the wounded to the nearby Khilafat office.59 He made a futile attempt to carry the injured to the nearby Government Lady Reading Hospital, located only a few hundred metres away, but was prevented by the troops moving further in that direction.60 The Khilafat office was declared as a facility for medical treatment and Dr Khan Sahib himself treated the firing injured. In the late evening, after hectic efforts, he succeeded in convincing local authorities that to save their lives some of the seriously injured patients should be shifted to the Lady Reading Hospital for emergency treat- ment.61 This facility, according to the Peshawar Inquiry Committee, also could be secured after ‘great difficulty and with the help of Dr Khan Sahib’.62 Many dead bodies were brought to the Khilafat office where under the direct supervision of Dr Khan Sahib they were handed over to their relatives. Many unidentified and unclaimed bodies were buried in the Municipal Committee’s graveyard, located in Yakatoot Gate. Many injured preferred the treatment of Dr Khan Sahib over the Government doctors.63 Dr Khan Sahib rendered great services during the civil disobedience movement in the Peshawar Valley and treated all the national work- ers and the volunteers who were denied the medical facility by the Government hospitals. His rectitude earned him a reputation as a national worker64 and during the next few months the Government ‘recompensed’ him by accusing him of ‘disturbing the peace and tranquillity of the region’ and imprisoned him along with other Khudai Khidmatgars.

As pointed out earlier, the day became a turning point in the nationalist history of the province. Although the events initially were confined to only one place but its repercussions were tremendous. The locals decided to change the name of the bazaar to Bazaar i Shahidan and Kabuli Gate was called Khooni Darwaza but after few days the old names prevailed. Many poets remembered the horribleevents of 23 April in their own particular styles. How people saw the massacre? How they felt it? A glimpse is given below:
According to Abdul Malik Fida,
Dasey toye karhi hecha nadi da chargano weeney
Laka toye karhi dee Angrez da mazloomano weeney
Zaka leekaley de Santees April harcha pa weeno
Che pa de wraz bande werhia we da khwarano weeney
Qissa Khana qasabkhana wah pa nazar da khalqo
Che ye bazaar ke bahedalay da khwarano weeney.65

No one has ever pour forth the blood of chickens mercilessly in that manner
Like the English shed the blood of innocent people on that day
That’s why everyone has written Santees (1930) April in red letters
On that day the blood of the poor people was easily available
Kissa Khana (i) became a slaughter house in the eyes of the general masses
Because the blood of poor innocent people was seen split/scattered everywhere
Abdul Khaliq Khaleeq laments that
Ae asmana! Walay na sholey ranaskor?
Ae aftaba! Walay na ye la ghama tor?
Loyo ghronoo! Walay rez au marez na shway?
Wano booto! Walay na swazey pa hor?
Zmkay! Prhaq la dhera dharda walay na chway?
Stha da pasa somra weer dey somra shor.66

O sky! Why you did not fall?
O sun! Why you did not turn black in grief?
O high mountains! Why you did not scatter in dust and particles?
O trees! Why you are not burnt in flames?
O earth! Why you are not torn to pieces in the anguish?
Can you hear the moaning of agony and suffering at your back?
Zafar Ali Khan also commended the intrepidity and daring of the people of Pashtoonkhwa in these words:
Mulkulmoth ko khatir mey na laney walay
Goolian taney hoye seeno pay kaney walay
Qabar thak sabar ko sehthey hoye janey walay
Sabar ka mojiza dunya ko dekaney walay.67

They were not being afraid of the Angel of the Death
They faced bullets valiantly on their chests
They preferred death over giving up their serenity
They showed the miracle of their perseverance to the entire world
The Khudai Khidmatgar leaders Abdul Ghaffar Khan, Mian Ahmad Shah, Sarfaraz Khan and Shah Nawaz Khan were arrested at Nahaqi, in the suburbs of Peshawar. They were on their way to Peshawar to participate in the picketing scheduled for that day. They were immediately taken back to Charsadda and put into the local prison. The people of the Charsadda and the surrounding areas were furious on the arrest of their leaders. They gathered in front of the prison in a very large number, raising slogans in support of the arrested leaders and against the raj.68 Sensing the gravity of situation, the jail authorities requested Abdul Ghaffar Khan to restrain the furious/charged people from storming the prison. Abdul Ghaffar Khan appeared in person on a mounted place and appealed to the protesting crowd not to violate the law and reminded them of the pledge69 taken before enrolment in the Khudai Khidmatgar movement that they will not resort to violence even in grave situations like this.70 His adroit handling of the situation saved it from further deterioration. Mian Jaffar Shah and other prominent Khudai Khidmatgars who were not yet arrested by the authorities also requested the peo- ple to remain non-violent and appealed to them to disperse peacefully. Majority of the people, although unwilling, had left the place with a heavy heart. Abdul Ghaffar Khan and other arrested leaders were taken to Risalpur, tried summarily by a court and sentenced to three years’ imprisonment.71

Footnotes and References

33 For details see Sayed Wiqar Ali Shah, ‘N-WFP and the Khilafat and Hijrat Movements’, Central Asia, no. 20 (1987), 121–41; M. Naeem Qureshi, Pan-Islam in British India: The Politics of the Khilafat Movement 1918–1924 (Karachi: Oxford University Press, 2009).
34 Sayed Wiqar Ali Shah, Ethnicity Islam and Nationalism: Muslim Politics in the North-West Frontier Province 1937–1947 (Karachi: Oxford University Press, 1999), 22–23.
35 Ibid., 23
36 Ibid., 26
37 Ibid., 27-28
38 Ahmad, Khudai Khidmatgar Tehreek I (Pashto) (Peshawar: University Book Agency, 1991), 181.
39 Full details can be seen in Khaleeq, Da Azadi Jang, 63–66; Ahmad, Khudai Khidmatgar Tehreek, 181–193; and Abdul Akbar Khan Akbar, Da Barri Saghir Pak au Hind Pashto Azaadi ke da Pakhtano Barkha (Pashto), (Peshawar: University Publishers, 2009), 94–98.
40 Shah, Ethnicity, Islam and Nationalism, 32.
41 Olaf Caroe, ‘Spring of Enchantment’ (unpublished manuscript), Caroe Papers, Mss. EUR., as quoted in Shah, Ethnicity, Islam and Nationalism, 32.
42 The arrested persons included Syed Lal Badshah, Maulana Abdur Rahim Popalzai, Achraj Ram Ghumandi, Ali Gul Khan, Khan Mir Hilali, Rahim Bakhsh Ghaznavi, Abdur Rahman Riya, Lala Paira Khan and Abdur Rashid Siddiqui.
43 Congress Enquiry Committee, 7.
44 Ibid., 16.
45 Two judges Shah Muhammad Sulaiman of the High Court, Allahabad and H.R. Pankridge of the High Court, Fort William, Bengal were deputed by the Government to probe into the Peshawar riots.
46 Stephen Alan Rittenberg, Ethnicity, Nationalism and the Pakhtuns: The Independence Movement in India’s North-West Frontier Province (Durham: Carolina Academic Press, 1988), 79.
47 The Peshawar Enquiry Committee with Vithalbhai Patel Bar-at-Law, as Chairman and Mufti Kifayatullah (President Jamiatul Ulema), Sardar Sardul Singh Caveeshar (President, Punjab Provincial Congress Committee), and Lala Dunichand, Bar-at-Law, (Lahore) as members, was appointed by the Working Committee of the INC to inquire into the tragic events of Peshawar on 23 April 1930. They were not allowed to enter the Frontier. They started holding meetings at Rawalpindi. Its 357 pages Report was published on 25 June 1930.
48 Peshawar Enquiry Committee, 8–9.
49 Khilafat Committee Peshawar, The Frontier Tragedy (Lahore: Ripon Printing Press, 1930), 15.
50 Syed Amir Badshah, President of the Zamindar’s Association, Peshawar, gave the following statement:"...The people were dismayed and were trying to remove the dead and the wounded when an officer ordered a bayonet charge against them. To save themselves, the people tried to remove the dead and wounded behind the cover of the wooden boxes that they had brought from the shops and used these boxes and wooden planks as a shield against the bayonet charge. They continued raising national slogans despite this official violence which they bore peacefully and patiently. The Kissa Khani Bazaar appeared a veritable field of slaughter. I with my comrades, Mohammad Akram Khan and others, fully witnessed the orgy of this wholesale slaughter from the upper storey of the house of Abdul Rauf, pleader. Everything was clear to our view. Every one sighted in the street and by-lanes of the Kissa Khani was indiscriminately fired at and the soldiers moved on. Everyone who appeared in the balconies or roofs was shot at. Therefore we closed the doors of our upper flats and so did the others, and lay hiding inside. At every by-lane were posted three or four British soldiers for firing at the people. The firing continued from 1:15 to 3 p.m. and from 4 to 5 p.m. occasional firing was heard. The firing at the roofs and balconies was resorted to in order to secretly remove the dead bodies. A large number of dead bodies were taken in closed lorries and disposed of at some unknown place. I was peeping through a hole on hearing the noise of the Lorries. I saw the dead bodies being packed in lorries. I had seen three such lorries."(Peshawar Enquiry Committee, 30–31) Mohammad Akram Khan (witness no. 40), a member of the Zamindar’s Association, Peshawar corroborated the above facts. He along with Amir Badshah and Sanobar Hussain went up to the balcony of Abdul Rauf pleader and saw ‘general slaughter’. He stated that the "British soldiers proceeded to fire on the balconies and the streets. We closed the doors but witnessed all the scene through a hole. At about 2:30 p.m. the noise of the lorries was heard. From a hole we saw the closed lorries and the British soldiers at different places who were collecting the dead bodies and were placing them in the lorries. After this I went on the 3rd storey and when I just had a peep I saw that the road was being flooded with water by a fire brigade and blood marks were being washed away. While I was observing this, a bullet passed just above my head and I came down. The firing was going on till 4 p.m. Between 4 and 5 firing went on at intervals."(Ibid., 31–32)
51 Malik Shad Mohammad, ‘Deed wa Shuneed’ I (Urdu), (Peshawar: unpublished memoirs), 143.
52 Manoranjan Jha, Civil Disobedience and After: The American Reaction to Political Developments in India During 1930–1935 (Delhi: Meenakashi Prakashan,1973), 75
53 D.G. Tendulkar, Abdul Ghaffar Khan: Faith is Battle (Bombay [Mumbai]: Popular Prakashan,1967), 70.
54 Peshawar Enquiry Committee, 126, 154.
55 Khaleeq, Da Azadi Jang, 69.
56 S.R. Bakhshi, Abdul Ghaffar Khan (New Delhi: Anmol Publications, 1991), 102.
57 Farigh Bokhari, Bacha Khan (Urdu), (Peshawar: Naya Maktaba, n.d.), 121–22.
58 Statement of Illah Bux Mir, Timber Merchant, Peshawar, Peshawar Enquiry Committee, 143.
59 Abdur Rehman, Peshawar City, Witness No. 46, Peshawar Enquiry Committee, 210.
60 Shad, Deed wa Shuneed, 145–46.
61 Khaleeq, Da Azadi Jang, 68.
62 Peshawar Enquiry Committee, 9.
63 Mohammad Saleem, Peshawar, Witness No. 36, Peshawar Enquiry Committee, 181.
64 Rajmohan Gandhi, Ghaffar Khan: Nonviolent Badshah of the Pakhtuns (New Delhi: Penguin Books, 2004), 87.
65 Abdul Malik Fida, Deewan (Pashto) (Peshawar: Darul Tasneef, 1957), 120.
66 Abdul Khaliq Khaleeq, Za au Zama Zamana (Pashto) (Peshawar: Idara e Ishaat Sarhad, 1974), 66–67.
67 Maulana Zafar Ali Khan, Habsiyat (Urdu) (Lahore: Ali-Faisal Nashiran wa Tajiran Kutab, nd), 122.
68 Akbar, Da Pukhtano Barkha, 99–109.
69 The volunteers had to take the following pledge (reproduced here from Shah, Ethnicity, Islam and Nationalism, 44) at the time of getting enrolled into the Khudai Khidmatgar organization:
‘I call on God as a witness, and solemnly declare on oath that I will abide by the following principles:

  1. With sincerity and faith, I offer my name for Khudai Khidmatgarship.
  2. I will sacrifice my wealth, comfort and self in the service of my nation and for the liberation of my country.
  3. I will never have ‘para jamba’ (party feeling), enmity with or wilfully oppose any body; and I shall help the oppressed against the oppressor.
  4. I will not become a member of any other rival party nor will I give security or apologize during the fight.
  5. I will always obey every lawful order of every officer of mine.
  6. I will always abide by the principle of non-violence.
  7. I will serve all human beings alike, and my goal will be the attainment of the freedom of my country and my religion.
  8. I will always perform good and noble deeds.
  9. All my efforts will be directed to seeking the will of God and not towards mere show or becoming an office-holder.

70 Ahmad, Khudai Khidmatgar Tehreek, 200–01.
71 At the Gujarat Special Jail they were confined with other prominent Congress and nationalist lead- ers including Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Jawaharlal Nehru, Dr M.A. Ansari, Syed Ataullah Shah Bukhari, Maulana Zafar Ali Khan, Dr Saifuddin Kitchlew, Dr M. Alam, Maulana Hussain Ahmad Madani, Barrister Asif Ali, Maulvi Kifayatullah, Maulana Ahmad Saeed and K. Santanam. Abdul Ghaffar, Zama Zhwand au Jaddo Jehad, (Pashto) (Kabul: Government Press, 1983), 373–80; Akbar, Da Pukhtano Barkha, 102.
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