MASJID MANZILGAH CHRONOLOGY
“MASJID MANZIlGAH- A CHRONOLOGY OF THE GREATEST DIVISION OF HEARTS & SOULS, SOCIETY & IDEOLOGY IN SINDH, DESIGNED AND IMPLEMENTED BY MUSLIMS & HINDUS”:
By Dr. Dur Muhammad Pathan
Sindh had never witnessed division of her sons and society like an ugly event of dispute on the Masjid Manzilgah. We lost Saint Singer Bhagat Kanwar Ram because of that situation. In Sukkur the figures of casualties in both, Muslim and Hindu communities were comparable. In two days of rioting 15 Muslims were killed and 04 were injured; the corresponding figures for Hindus were 19 and 06. But in Sukkur District the Hindus clearly suffered more, 57 Hindus were killed and 09 injured as against 01 killed and 01 injured for the Muslims.The trauma of the Masjid Manzalgah disturbances was to get rid of K.B.Soomro and his Government. The dispute was essentially a matter between the Soomro Government and the Muslim League, but issue assumed a communal aspect when the Hindus became concerned with the settlement. Hindus position on the Manzilgah was that its recognition as mosque would jeopardize Hindu use of Sadh Bela, which faced Manzilgah.Hindus viewed the Muslim claim as a threat to their position of dominance and control. Thus they opposed the claim and wanted the building should remain under control of the Government .Muslim League needed support from Hindus for its cause to bring the K.B.Allah Bux Soomro’s government down. It was impossible for League to create situation in Assembly in such a way that the support of Hindu members is withdrawn. The drama of the issue of Masjid Manzilgah made League’s task easy. The Muslim League needed division of people on religious lines for more than two purposes: Leaving no option for Sindhi Muslims to join Muslim League and opt for Pakistan, and creating pressure of Hindus, by Hindus and for Hindu Assembly members to withdraw their support from the Soomro government. The issue of Masjid Manzilgah paved way for Muslim League, thus the long awaited League’s goal of defeating Soomro and removing him from power was achieved in this way.
The tragedy of Masjid Manzalgah revels inner differences and conflicts of Muslim Upper Class composing of Pir, Landlords and Capitalists. The Movement for the restoration of Masjid Manzilgah was headed by a trio, consisting of a Capitalist (Haji Abdullah Haroon), a Pir/Syed (G.M.Syed) and a Landlord (K.B.Muhammad Ayub Khuhro). Soon after the separation of Sindh from Bombay Presidency, sindhi Muslim capitalists and Muslim Business community tried to get its share in power and opportunities for advancement and progress. Haji Abdullah Haroon was undisputed representative of this segment of Muslim Upper Class. Khuhro, who was taking care of interests o feudal class took more interest in the Movement. Haji Abdullah Haroon opted for safe and protected path and avoided to take any risk because he was from Business man. G.M.Syed managed to super seat them and gave tough time to the Government. That is the talks between Government and Restoration Committee never brought positive results. A feudal and business man avoided agitation and conflict with the Government. Therefore Restoration committee and War Committee were dissolved and Shaikh Wjid of Shikarpur took over as a Dictator, because it was time for offering sacrifices and for this purpose Pirs, Feudals and Capitalists have to leave the ground.
13.7.1925: Sindh Commissioner rejects petition of a Muslim of Sukkur claiming the buildings at the site of Mazilgah as an old and ancient mosque and hujirah. However, directs that buildings should be kept in good order and that if Muslims to erect a wall around them.(Source: Inquiry Report).
1.12.1928: Muhammad Yamin, Secretary, Anjuman-i-Islam, Sukkur, writes to the Collector of Sukkur protesting against his action of not allowing muslims to repair mosque of Manzilgah (Source: Inquiry Report).
15.12.1928: The Hindu Panchayat of Sukkur makes complaint to the Collector of Sukkur that building has been repaired and now it gives look of a mosque and a Mulla has been appointed.(Source: Inquiry Report).
20.12.1928: The Collector Sukkur visits site and also meet with Karam Ali Shah, President of the Anjuman-i-Islam to discuss the matter. (Source: Inquiry Report).
February 1929: Haji Abdullah Haroon visits Sindh Commissioner and invites his attention to the issue of Masjid Manzilgah and brings to his notice that there is possibility of agitation by Sindh Khilafat Tahrik, if no any action is taken by the Government regarding restoration of the Masjid Manzilgah (Source: The Daily Al-Wahid, Karachi).
10.11.1929: The President of the Aniuman-i-Islam, Sukkur writes to the Collector claiming building as Mosque. (Source: Newspapers).
05.10.1931: Sindh Commissioner orders for raising of the wall surrounding the two buildings of Manzilgah to height of six feet and granting of other plot to the Muslims for construction of a mosque.(Source: Inquiry Report).
11.10.1937: While presiding over and addressing public meeting at Sukkur, Moulana Zafar Ali Khan asks people to get Masjid Manzilgah restored at any cost because it is religious obligation and duty. (Source: Inquiry Report).
12.10.1937: The doors of disputed building known as Masjid Manzilgah are opend for public with the result that Muslims started visiting the site. The decision of the Government to pave way for creating serious differences between Hindus and Muslims.(Source: Newspapers)13.10.1937: Dr.Muhammad Yamen, Secretary Majlis-i-Ithad-i-Milat and Naimatullah Secretary Anjuman-i-Islam, Sukkur meet the Collector of Sukkur and presented their point of view on the issue. In the evening a public meeting is held at Suko Talau Jamia Masjid in which both leaders apprise people of their meeting and discussion with the Collector. (Source: Newspapers).
17.10.1937: The daily Al-Wahid of Karachi gives details about the function and its proceedings that was held at Sukkur and presided over by Moulana Zafar Ali Khan of Punjab. In this fuction Moulana made very emotional and strong worded speech about Masjid Manzigah. (Source: Al-Wahid).
November 1937: Moulana Muhammad Sadik of Khada advises Muslims of Sukkur to give up idea of Satyagaraha and asks his party (JUI)men not to involve in the matter. (Source: Inquiry Report).
05.11.1937: The Daily Al-Wahid of Karachi, in the course of its editorial traces the history of the Masjid Manzilgah and advises Sindhi Muslims to take efforts for its restoration (Source: Al-Wahid, Karachi).
18.12.1937: The meeting of Muslims of Sukkur is held with Ahmad Ali Khan in chair. It is attended by Naimatullah Khan, Abdul Haq; Hakim Atta Muhammad; Muhammad Ramzan and others. The meeting condemnes publication and distribution of anti-Islam Pamphlets in Sukkur. It is also resolved to send Representation to the Premier of Sindh regarding restoration of Masid Manzilgah. (Source: Newspapers).
30.1.1938: A article by Naimatullah (Alig) of Sukkur is published in today’s Al-Wahid in which the writer asks Sindhi Muslims to take peaceful part in the movement for the restoration of Masjid Manzilgah. (Source: The Daily Al-Wahid, Karachi).
14.2.1938: Sir Ghulam Hussain Hidayatullah, Chief Minister of Sindh assures Muslim Deputation of Sukkur that he will visit the site and take proper action (Source: Inquiry Report).
06.4.1938: The Sindh Provincial Muslim League in its meeting passes resolution demanding restoration of Masjid Manzilgah and authorizes party President (Haji Abdullah Haroon) and party leader in Assembly (K.B.Muhammad Ayub Khuhro) to wait on the Premier as the matter can be resolved. (Source: ‘Source-Material on Sindh Muslim League’, compiled by Gul Hayat Institute).
05.06.1938: The President of Sindh Muslim League (Haji Abdullah Haroon) and K.B.Muhammad Ayub Khuhro hold meeting with K.B.Allah Bux Soomro, the Premier of Sindh and dememded restoration of Masjid Manzilgah. (Source: “Soure-Material on Sindh Muslim League’, compiled by Gul Hayat Institute).
31.7.1938:The Sindh Observer provides full coverage to the proceedings of the Conference held by Sindh Hindu Sabha. (Source: Sindh Observer)
12.8.1938: The Daily Al-Wahid condemn the policy of Sindh Hindu Sabha regarding the issue of Masjid Manzilgah and ask the Sabha not to spread communalism in Sindh. (Source: The Daily Al-Wahid, Karachi).
15.3.1939: D.B.Issarsing a personal friend of K.B.Allah Bux writes him protesting against the matter of Masjid Manzilgah being reopend and advise him not to do anything which would give rise to bitterment between two communities. (Source: Inquiry Report).
April 1939: Moulana Muhammad Sadik of Khada meets K.B.Allah Bux Soomro and discussed important issues including imposition of ban on luwari Haj like event and restoration of Masjid Manzilgah. Soomro assures him of resolving the issue by virtue of restoration of Masjid Manzilgah. (Source:Enquary Report).
12.4.1939: K.B.Soomro, Chief Minister directs inquiry relating to the inspection on two buildings. Muhammad Ishaq, Dy.Collector is assigned the task. (Source: Inquiry Report).
14.4.1939: K.B.Allah Bux Soomro, Chief Minister of Sindh sends Moulana Muhammad Sadik of Khada alongwith Hakim Fatih Muhammad Sehwani to Sukkur to visit site and make some opinion about the issue of Masjid Manzilgah so as Government can take proper action in that regard. After visiting the site, they address meeting and advise Muslims of Sukkur not to be agitated as the Government is serious to resove the problem accordingly. (Source:Inquiry Report).
26.4,1939: The Committee of three Engineers consistng of Hindu, Muslim and Eroupean is appointed by the Chief Minister for the inspection of buildings. (Source: The Daily Al-Wahid, Karachi).
05.05.1939: Hakim Tajuddin, Acting President of the Sukkur Ithad-e-Milat writes to Sir Haji Abdullah Haroon requesting him to take interest in the matter of Masjid Manzilgah. (Source: The Daily Al-Wahid, Karachi).
06.05.1939: The Committee of three Engineers submit their report to the Government that supported the Muslim case about the Masjid Manzilgah. (Source: Inquiry Report).
11.5.1939: K.B.Allah Bux Soomro, the Chief Minister of Sindh meets a deputation of Hindu leaders at Sukkur and shares idea that the compound will be partitioned. (Source: Inquiry Report).
12.5.1939: Some Muslims of Sukkur effected on entry into Masjid Manzilgah. (Source: Newspapers).
19.5.1939: Sir Haji Abdullah Haroon visits Sukkur and meets various representatives of Muslim Associations. He agrees that the demand of Muslims of Sukkur is justified.He declares support to Sukkur Muslims’ demand regarding restoration of Masjid Manzilgah. (Source: The Daily Al-Waid, Karachi).
25.5.1939: The Mahant of Sadh Belo writes to the Premier Soomro protesting against any reopening of the Masjid Manzilgah question and doubts that it would be source of damage to the peace of Sukkur. (Source: Inquiry Report).
04.06.1939: Sindh Muslim League adopts resolution on Masjid Manzilgah issue and demands its restoration. (Source: The Daily Al-Wahid, Karachi).
09.6.1939:Nihchaldas, Minister for PWD records minutes stating his belief that Muslim claim do not seems to bonafide and advises to be consulted before any orders are passed. (Source: Inquiry Report).
July 1939: Sindh Muslim League’s Working Committee meets in Karachi under chairmanship of Shaikh Abdul Majeed Sindhi and adopts resolution demanding restoration of Masjid Manzilgah and outlines a plan for province-wise agitation to achieve the end. It is also decided that Fund be raised to collect Rs.50,000, including recruitment of 10,000 volunteers for this purpose.(Source: Inquiry Report).
12.6.1939: Nihchaldas, Sindh Minister for PWD visits the site of Masjid Manzilgah. (Source: Newspapers).
29.6.1939: In course of its editorial, the Daily Al-Wahid criticises the the polcy and stand of Sindh Jamiat-ul-Ulema and its leaders Moulana Muhammad Saidk of Khada and Hakim Fatih Muhammad Sehwani on Masjid Manzilgah issue. The paper says that they have advised their party-men belonging to Sukkur not to take part in any agitation in this regard. (Source: The Daily Al-Wahid, Karachi).
13.7.1939: Son of Pir of Bharchondi states that he has been assaulted in Sukkur town by Hindus. (Source: Newspapers).
22.07.1939: K.B.Khuhro presides over the meeting of Masjid Manzilgah Restoration Committee at Karachi and calls Muslim Members of Sindh Assembly to withdraw their support of the Allah Bux Government, and form an alternative government. (Source: Newspapers).
23.7.1939: The meeting of the Restoration Committee is held at Sukkur with K.B.Khuhro in chair. It is attended by Shaikh Abdul Majeed Sindhi, Nazar Ali Khan; Dr.Yameen; Pir of Bharchondi and Shaikh Wajid.It was decided that 18th August will be observed as ‘Masjid Manzilgah Day’. It also calls upon Muslim members of Assembly to withdraw their support to the Government if it still avoids to restore Masjid Manzilgah.(Inquiry Report).
24.7.1939: Hindu deputations from Ubaoro and Mirpur Mathelo meet the District Magistrate and stated that they had no part in the assualt of son of Pir of Bharchondi, therfore there should be no reprisals against them. The expressed that reprisals would be directed against Bhagat Kanwar Ram. (Source; Inquiry Report).
29.7.1939: Kothawala, District Magistrate addresses meeting of Hindu and Muslim leaders at the Town Hall, Sukkur and urges them to abandon communal feelings and live together in peace. (source: Newspapers).
31.7.1939: K.B.Soomro, Premier visits Sukkur, calls meeting to attempt a settlement of the beating of son of Bharchondi Pir. (Source: Newspapers).
03.08.1939: The Daily Al-Wahid in its course of editorial comments on the meeting and decision taken by the Working Committee of the Sindh Provincial Muslim League and supports strategy of the party regarding restoration of Masjid Manzilgah. (Source: The Daily Al-Wahid, Karachi).
08.08.1939: Newspapers carry an appeal of the Secretary of the Masjid Manzilgah Restoration Committee, in which Muslims of Sindh are asked to take part in the movement. (Source: The Daily Al-Wahid,Karachi).
17.08.1939: Sindh Governor, Graham while writing to the Viceroy of India describes Masjid Manzilgah is as ‘a possible source of trouble’.(Source: Sindh Governor’s fortnightly report to the Viceroy). Daily Al-Wahid of Karachi, in course of its editorial attacks Hakim Fatih Muhammad Sehwani and his paper ‘Islah’ for advising Sindhi Muslims not to take part in agitation aimed at restoration of Masjid Manzilgah. (Source: Al-Wahid).
18.8.1939: ‘Masjid Manzilgah Day’ is observed in the length and breadth of Sindh on the call of Sindh Provincial Muslim League.Threats were held out of resort to Satyagraha and Civil disobedience and also to a campaign for overthrow of the present Ministry. (Source: ‘Source-‘Material on Sindh Muslim League’, compiled by Gul Hayat Institute)
19.8.1939: The Sindh Zamindar, newspaper of Sukkur claims that ‘Sadh Belo’ was originally ‘Shad Belo’ means a place where guests and travelers are provided lodging and boarding facilities. It was latter on occupied by Hindus and converted into their political, religious and social hide out. (Source: Sindh Zamindar, Sukkur).
27.08.1939: Masjid Manzilgah Restoration Committee meets at Karachi and asks All-India Muslim League for sanction/permission for starting movement for disobedience. (Source: Newspapers).
10.9.1939: Moulana Azizullah, Nazim JUI District Tharparkar asks his party-men not to indulge in Masjid Manzilgah issue and wait till the policy matter is announced by the Sindh Jamiat-ul-Ulema. (Source: Newspapers). A meeting of the Jamiat Mujadiyah is held in which it is declared that participation in the Movement for Restoration of Masjid Manzilgah is religious duty. (Source: Al-Wahid).
12.9.1939: Under the title ‘The Future of Masjid Manzilgah’, the daily Al-Wahid advises Government to resolve the issue without fail. (Source: Al-Wahid, Karachi).
16.09.1939: Restoration Committee and war Committee are abolished by the Sindh Muslim League and Dictator is set up. Shaikh Wajid of Shikarpur takes over as the first Dictator.(Source: Inquiry Report).Sukkur Muslims take out procession in Sukkur and demand restoration of Masjid Manzilgah. (Source: Newspapers).
19.9.1939: Galbraith, the D.S.P writes to the Inspector of Police informing him about the decision of the Restoration Committee to start agitation/Satyagraha from the 1st October 1939.(Source: Inquiry Report).
20.9.1939: A public meeting of Muslims is held at village Abdul Aziz of Taluka Matli with Pir Ghulam Ali Jilani in chair. In this meeting it is demanded that ban be imposed upon Hakim Fatih Muhammad Sehwani’s paper ‘Islah’ and it is also resolved that people of Matli Taluka will participate in the agitation started for the restoration of Masjd Manzilgah. (source: Al-Wahid).
21.9.1939: K.B.Khuhro writes to the Sindh Governor requesting him to take personal interest in the matter as the Government of K.B.Soomro is not ready to pay heed. (Source: ‘Khuhro’s Letters’).
22.9.1939: Dr.Muhammad Umar, President of Ahrar Sukkur announces participation of his party in agitation. (Source: Newspapers).
23.9.1939: Volunteers from Dabhro, Kandyaro and Mihrapur proceed to Sukkur. (Source: Al-Wahid).
24.9.1939: The Daily Al-Wahid of Karachi, in course of editorial, asks Sindhi Muslims to take part in the Movement for the Restoration of Masjid Manzilgah. (Source: Al-Wahid).
25.9.1939: Press Note is issued by the Sindh Government on the Masjid Manzilgah issue. It reads: ‘ Government have been approached from several quarters for an early decision regarding the Manzilgah building alleged to be a mosque and rest-house at Sukkur. Government desire to say that this question is receiving their consideration, and that the matter will be disposed of as soon as may be, on a consideration, strictly, of the merits of the case.
Government understand that it is proposed to stage a ‘Satyagraha’ from the 1st October 1939, with a view to securing the transfer of the Manzilgah to the Muslims. Government need hardly emphasize that a matter of such controversy, as the disposal of the Manzilgah, should be decided in a calm atmosphere and on a dispassionate consideration of what every party interested in the matter has got to stay.
It is, therefore, the considered opinion of the Government that it is in the interest of everyone concerned that the leaders of the Muslim community interested in this question should not launch ‘satyagraha’, but should wait for the decision of Government. And Government request all concerned in the matter to crate the atmosphere which is necessary for the consideration and disposal of a matter of this import’. (Source: Press Note No.P-237. Signed by T.C.Thadhani, Director of Information, Sindh)
26.9.1939: Sindh Government imposes Section 144 for two months. (Source: Newspapers).
27.9.1939: Sindh Premier K.B.Soomro is in Shikarpur. He visits Shaikh Wajid and try to make him realize that that Masjid Manzilgah matter can be resolved and he should not insists upon now or never. (Source: “Source-Material on K.B. Allah Bux Soomro’, compiled by Gul Hayat Institute). At Sukkur the wall of the Masjid Manzilgah compound is raised from two to five feet. (Source: Newspapers).
29.09.1939: Restoration Committee passes resolution calling for commencement of Satyagaraha/Disobedience within three days unless a settlement was reached. (Source: Daily Al-Wahid, Karachi).Moulana Abdul Karim Chishti of Shikarpur advises Government of being serious to resolve the issue of Masjid Manzilgah. His article is published in Al-Wahid, today. (Source: Al-Wahid).Pir Ghulam Mujadid issues detailed statement from Matiari asking his followers to paticipate in the Movement for restoration of Masjid Manzilgah. (Source: Al-Wahid).
01.10.1939:K.B.Allah Bux Soomro, the Premier of Sindh holds talks with Muslim League leaders Hindu Leaders at Sukkur. It is attended by Haji Abdullah Haroon, Dealmal and Partabrai. But no agreement is reached. Sindh Muslim League launches Movement for the restoration of Masjid Manzilgah. Within two hours 313 agitators are arrested. This figure was adopted as reminiscent of the first Islamic battle of Badar. The arrested persons included Pir Ghulam Mujadid Sarhandi, Pir Abdul Aziz, grandson of Agha Hassan Jan Sarhandi, thirty six Syeds, eleven Moulvis and three Hafizes of Quran. One Thousand volunteers, including sixty women were present in the camp to offer Satyagraha. Other 800 hundred persons were arrested but they were subsequently released. (Source: ‘Source-Material on Sindh Muslim League’, compiled by Gul Hayat Institute).Section 144, Criminal Procedure Code is re-imposed in Sukkur. In all 339 persons are arrested in Sukkur. (Source: Newspapers).
02.10.1939:Two thousand people gather at the site of Masjid Manzilgah and push past the police and occupy Mosque building. 551 Volunteer-agitators arrested reported at Sukkur (Source: Newspapers). In his report the Chief Secretary to Government of Sindh writes that ‘A sum of about Rs.2,400 was collected for the furtherance of the agitation and the seriousness of the position compelled the District Magistrate, Sukkur to issue an order under section 144, Criminal Procedure Code. At the intervention of Government, however, the order was withdrawn and it was hoped that the issue of an official statement to the Press that Government were giving the matter full consideration would prevent the threats of Satyagraha, etc., from taking concrete shape. Negotiation between Government and the leaders of the agitation are still in progress but at the time of writing intimation has been received from Sukkur that one of the leaders of the agitation has precipitated the crisis and that section 144, CPC, has been re-promulgated.(Source: No.P-25-H-S/39,dt: 2.10.1939).
03.10.1939: More 300 Volunteers are arrested. However, volunteers succeed in occupying the outer compound of the site. On the plea that the Jails are full with arrested people and there is no more food to feed prisoners, the Chief Minister gives orders through the Sukkur District Magistrate that all Satyagarahis be released and police force be withdrawn from the site.The Restoration Committee issues Press Release giving number of volunteers those have arrived today in Sukkur. It is told that 23 volunteers from Kandyaro headed by Budhal Shah, 24 from Rohri under the leadership of Mahdi Shah, 57 headed by Abu Shoukat and 100 volunteers from Sultankot under leadership of Agha Ghulam Nabi Pathan have arrived to take part in agitation. (Source: Inquiry Report & Newspapers). Moulana Zafar Ali Khan addressing public meeting in Lahore demands restoration of Masjid Manzilgah (Source: Newspapers).The Dawat-i-Islam, Muslim paper of Sukkur deplores the negative role of Hindu Press. (Source: The Dawat-i-Islam, Sukkur).
04.10.1939: 500 volunteers keep possession of the building. Police is withdrawn. Arrested Children and women are released. (Source: Newspapers).
05.10.1939: Sindh Governor Graham informs the Viceroy of India that Haji Abdullah Haroon and K.B.Muhammad Ayub Khuhro are very much involved in Masjid Manzilgah issue (Source: Sindh Governor’s fortnightly Report to the Viceroy of India). Volunteers from Halani proceed to Sukkur. (Source: Al-Wahid).
06.10.1939: Six hundred volunteers including Seth Muhammad Ismail Memon, Hakim Atta Muhammad Bhatti and Hafiz Abdul Majeed are arrested in Sukkur.(Source: Al-Wahid, Karachi). Today, in course of its editorial, the Al-Wahid deplores the negative role being played bu Hindu Press regarding the Masjid Manzilgah issue. (Source: Al-Wahid, Karachi).
07.10.1939: Sindh Government issues policy statement on the Masjid Manzilgah issue. It is said that Government is very much serious, but cannot play in others’ hands. (Source: Newspapers). The Restoration Committee appoints ‘War Council’ foe enrolling volunteers for the proposed Satyagraha at Karachi for picketing the residence of Muslim Ministers. (Source: The Alwahid,Karachi).
08.10.1939: The meeting of Sukkur Muslim League demands resignation of Abdul Sattar Pirzada, Parliamentary Secretary on a plea that he is not playing due role in the movement. (Source: Newspapers). The ‘Sindhi’ newspaper of Sukkur, edited by eminent Freedom Fighter and politician Veromal Begraj advises Hindus that they should find protection for themselves. (Source: Sindhi, Sukkur).
10.10.1939: Haji Abdullah Haroon in his letter apprise M.A.Jinnah of the situation that ‘I have tried to dissuade Muslims from stong action, but now they have declared Satyagaraha and are intend on throwing Allah Bux out’. (Source: Inquary Report). Veromal Begraj makes representation to the Government that volunteers in possession of the Manzilgah have started making serious alterations to the building, and it must be stopped at once. (Source :Sindhi, Veromal’s paper). Pickets are placed in the Rohri Division. District Magistrate writes to apprise Chief Secretary of the serious and critical situation. (Source:Inquiry Report).
12.10.1939: Hindu Conference is held at Sukkur with Dr.Moonji of Nagpur in chair. The Conference took serious notice of the Sukkur affairs and asks Government to protect innocent people and restore law & order in the district. (Source: Indian Annual Register, Voi-2,1939). Muhammad Hashim Gazdar,MLA, while addressing a Muslim meeting at Eidgah Maidan Karachi, in his anti-British and anti-Ministerial speech says that telegrams were received from Quetta, Lahore, Peshawar and Bombay with offers of volunteers, but we have nothing to fear like the Hindus who do not know whether they will transmigrate themselves into a cat or what after death. We Muslim live as Ghazi and die to become martyr. (Source: The Sindh observer).
13.10.1939: All agitators arrested and detained in connection with Masjid Manzilgah Restoration Movement are released by the Collector of Sukkur. (Source: Inquiry Report). The meeting of Hindus of Sukkur is hold at Nim-Jo-Chowk, situation is reviewed and it is resolved to retaliate any action taken by Muslims with iron hand. (Source; Newspapers). Under the auspices of the Hindu Sabha a meeting is held at Sukkur. Speakers say that Hindus were perfectly within their rights in opposing the forces of evil, that Sadh Bella had been in existence for 118 years, that the Hindus would not behave like cowards but would show feats of valour and would die fighting and that Government had proved itself worthless. Hindus are urged to boycott Muslims, requesting them not to waste good Hindu money on their enemies. (Source: The Sansar Samachar).
14.10.1939:Sindh Muslim League had decided picketing the ministers’ homes. Keeping in view the critical law and order situation,the Governor of Sindh promulgates an Ordinance giving powers to local authorities to arrest without warrant who so ever is found involved in creating law & order situation.(Source: The Ordinance). Handsome number of volunteers from G.M.Syed’s village Saan proceed to Sukkur. (Source: Newspapers). A meeting is held by Sukkur Hindus in which violent speeches are made and it is decided to boycott of Muslim shops.(Source: Ibd). The hartal is observed in Karachi by Muslim Shopkeepers and a procession is taken out to press Government for the restoration of Masjid Manzilgah. In a Press Release of the War Council, it is told that 800 volunteers , including 200 women have been enrolled. (Source: The Alwahid, Karachi).
15.10.1939: The meeting of the Working Committee of the Sindh Muslim League is held at Karachi tio review and discuss the strategy regarding the Movement for restoration of Masjid Manzilgah. (Source: Newspapers). Kothawala, District Magistrate refutes allegation of Veromal Begraj that serious alterations are being made to the building. (Source: Newspapers). In a meeting of Arya Samaj, held at Karachi, Shamdas P. Gidwani moves a resolution protesting against the illegal occupation of the Manzilgah and urging the Hindu Mahasabha to depute an Enquiry Committee to investigate into the conditions of Hindus. (Source: The Sindh Observer).
16.10.1939: A private meeting of Hindus is held at Sadh Bella and it is decided to send Hindu Sabha leaders to every district in Sindh in order to create Sindh-wide agitation against the restoration of the Manzilgah to Muslims. The Sukkur District Congress Committee also decides that District and Congress MPAs should tour the district of Sindh making known to the Hindu public that Congress was opposed to the return of the Manzalgah to the Muslims. (Source: The Sindhi, Sukkur). On account of the spilt among the Muslims one Sadiq Ali Shah threatens to picket the houses of K.B. Khuhro and Muhammad Hashim Gazdar, if any compromise with Government was arrived at. (Source: Newspapers).
17.10.1939: The meeting is held at Larkano to review the policy and other matters relating to the ‘Restoration of Masjid Mazilgah’. It is attended by K.B.Muhammad Ayub Khuhro, Kazi Fazlullah and others. (Source; The Daily Al-Waheed, Karachi). A public meeting of Muslims is held at Sukkur. Speakers claim that the Sadh Bello was in possession of Muslims till 1828 and that the wall round the Masjid Manzilgah was constructed recently at a cost of Rs.700 by Muslims and that the Chief Minister had also contributed towards that fund. The resolution is passed protesting against the deportation of Moulvi Amir Ahmad Jodhpuri from Sindh. (Source: ibid).
18.10.1939: Haji Abdullah Haroon and K.B.Khuhro meet K.B.Allah Bux Soomro, the Premier of Sindh to discuss with him matters relating to the Masjid Manzigah issue. They lodged protest with him on the arrest of Kazi Fazlullah at Ruk station today.(Source: Newspapers).
19.10.1939: Consequent upon evication of Manzilgah and camping arround by police, disturbances break in Sukkur which afterwards spread to the villages. (Source: Newspapers).
20.10.1939: Volunteers started arriving at Sukkur. (Source:Press Release issued by the Secretary Masjid Manzilgah Restoration Committee).
22.10.1939: The Working Committee of the All-India Muslim League approves the action/decision of Sindh Muslim League for the way Satyagraha was carried out and also appoints Committee to visit Sindh and investigate the issue. (Source: Muslim League Papers)
23.10.1939: A Pamphlet is published and distributed by Khemchand Gahnomal in Sukkur. It contains material condemning the Government of Sindh’s weak policy regarding very serious iss of the Masjid Manzilgah. (Source: Pamphlet).
24.10.1939: The Ordinance would be withdrawn if the Muslim League calls off Satyagaraha and evacuate the building, Government of Sindh declares it terms.(Source: Inquiry Report).
26.10.1939: Sindh Government holds Conference that is attended by K.B Allah Bux Soomro, Sir Ghulam Hussain Hidayatullah, Chief Secretary and the District Magisrate of Sukkur. The strategy for evacuation of building is set. (Source: Inquiry Report)
27.10,1939: The District Magistrate of Sukkur District issues notice to the members of the Masjid Manzilgah Restoration Committee asking them to evacuate the site. (Source: The Daily Al-Wahid, Karachi).Moulana Khush Muhammad from Mirokhan, Agha Ghulam Nabi from Sultankot and Syed Raza Ali Shah from Khipro along with volunteers proceed to Sukkur. (Source: Newspapers).
29.10.1939: Under the leadership of Shaikh Wajid, 115 volunteers proceed to Sukkur from Shikarpur. (Source: Newspapers).
30.10.1939: Sindh Governor informs Viceroy of India (Linlithgow) that with promulgation of Ordinance and reinstitution of Section 144, arrests of Muslims had resumed in Karachi. (Governor’s Fortnightly Report to the Viceroy).
01.11.1939: Outstanding Singer, Saint and Social Reformer Bhagat Kanwar is killed at Ruk station. (Source: Biography on Shaheed Bagat Kanwar Ram).
02.11.1939: Complete hartal is observed in Sukkur. Processions are taken out and Sindh Government is condemned for lawlessness and murder of Bhagat Kanwar Ram (Source: Newspapers). The Chief Secretary to Government of Sindh in his Report of 22nd November 1939 writes that ‘ The dead body of Bhagat Kanwar Ram was taken in a procession . In spite of the District Magistrate’s orders the procession also went past the Manzilgah which is still occupied by Muslims. By this time the crowed had swelled to 10,000. The leaders of the procession had vanished by this time and the more or less rebellious crowd shouted slogans. However, the occupants of the Manzilgah remained quite. (Source: indicated)
03.11.1939: The Sindh Observer, newspaper, carries report from its Sukkur Correspondent on the murder of Bhagat Kanwar (source: Sindh Observer). Sindh observes Hartal. A condolence meeting on the murder of Bhagat Kanwar Ram is held at Jacobabad. Muhammad Amin Khoso, MLA, speaking on the occasion says that the murder of Kanwar Ram, like all other troubles, had been engineered by some secret Government agent in order to bring the two communities into conflict. Hyderabad observes hartal to protest against the murder of Bhagat Kanwar Ram. In Karachi, Arya Samaj volunteers clothed in black and carrying spears and pick-axes take out procession to protest against the murder of Bhagat Kanwar Ram. One speaker said that this murder was a challenge to the Hindus who should organize themselves to oppose the anti-Hindu element and to support the Arya Vir Dal with men and money.(Source: Newspapers). On the eve of Juma prayers are held Eidgah Maidan, Karachi, Mirza Adam Khan says that it was astonishing that when the Hannuman Temple and the Om Mandli issues cropped up Muslims remained reticent; but the Hindus were allowed to interfere in the Manzilgah issue because the Sindh Premier seemed to think that the Muslims were a lifeless community. He said that when the Hindus said anything the Premier endorsed it like a signing machine.. Juma prayers are also held at the Sukkur Manzilgah. After prayers the congregation is addressed by some Moulvis who warned Muslims against purchasing food from Hindu hotels, because they might be beaten by Jathas deployed by Hindus there. (Source: Newspapers).
04.11.1939: Leaflet signed by Mr. Takur of Shikarpur is distributed in the city. It claims that the Muslims shrine of Zinda Pir situated at a small island in Indus between Old Sukkur and Rohri was in reality a Hindu shrine and was taken focible possession of by Muslims many years ago. The leaflet further proclaimed that the Hindus were distressed over the Muslim possession of Zinda Pir and urged the Hindu MLAs and others to fid the island of Muslims. (Source: Leaflet).
05.11.1939:The spilt in the Masjd Manzilgah Restoration Committee is intensified. It was only after great opposition from G.M.Syed, MLA, that the Restoration Committee decides to accept with certain modifications the proposals of Government. G.M.Syed strongly opposed the proposed Haroon- Khuhro agreement with Government and threatened to carry on Satyagraha himself if the terms offered by the Premier are accepted by Muslim League. G.M.Syed, continued to criticize the Sindh Government and have said that the Muslims will on no account surrender the Mosque to non-Muslims and if force was used against them, the injuction of Islam ‘to treat others as they treat you’ would be observed, Government being held responsible for any disturbances which might occur. (Source: As reported in the Report of the Chief Secretary to Government of Sindh. Dated:22.11.1939). The meeting of the Rohri Panchayat is held to review the critical situation.It is decided to boycott Muslim meat shops and submit petition for getting permission from the Collector to open meat shops on their own for Hindus (Source: Newspapers).
07.11.1939: The Special meeting of the advocates is called at Sukkur by Hindus. (Source: Newspapers).
08.11.1939: The Arya Sabha, Karachi sends an appeal for funds to their Naironi Branch for relieving distress among the Hindus who suffered in riots. (Source: Chief Secretary’s Report, dt.13.1.1940).
10.11.1939: 1500 persons attends the Juma prayers at Sukkur Masjid Manzilgah . Agha Nazar Ali addresses the congregation after prayers and urged them to remain peaceful and ignore provocative tactics on the part of the Hindus (Source: Newspapers).Dr. Choitram Gidwani and Professor Ghanshyamdas of Sindh Congress visits Sukkur. (Source: Sindh Observer). Hindus have started boycott of Muslims, the newspaper of Sukkur, Dawat-i-Islam reports.(Source: The Dawat-i-Islam, Sukkur).
14.11.1939: The Dharam Veer, Hindu paper condemns Government policy regarding Masjid Manzilgah and law & order situation in Sukkur. (Source: The Dharam Veer).
15.11.1939: The Sindh Muslim League Restoration Committee meets in Sukkur to examine and discuss the Government’s offer for the resolving of the Masjid Manzilghah issue. In this meeting the Secretary complained that local members of the Committee had forcibly seized Rs. 400 collected on Eid day. This was followed by an accusation of Hitlerism again the Secretary who promptly resigned, new Secretary elected being G.M.Syed, MLA. (Source: Newspapers). At an Arya Samaj meeting Principal Ram Sahai Gangaram mixed communalism with religion and said that the communal trouble at Sukkur was likely to reach Karachi, and that Arya Samajist should get a Lathi and knife for self-defence. He was promptly sent for by the District Magistrate who warned him against making such speeches, failing which action would be taken agaist him. Another speaker exhorted the audience to enlist in the Hindu Volunteer Corps as he alleged that the police force was not strong enough to safeguard Hindu interests. (Source: Reported by the Chief Secretary, on 12.12.1939). One Kundalmal of Hyderabad distributes short iron Dandas amongist the local Hindus at Hyderabad and offers another 50 to the Arya Samaj of Hyderabad (Source: The Sansar Samachar).
16.11.1939: The Anjuman Jameat-ul-Akhwan of Karachi and the Provincial Sanatam Dharm Sabha, of Punjab have decided to send their volunteers to Sukkur to give their respective communities support & relief.. (Source: Newspapers). The ‘Hayat’, in its issue of today, writing in communal strain, accuses the Sindh Ministry of dancing at a back and call of Hindus, who in order to eliminate Muslims were endeavouring to usurp Muslim right to so great an extent that they were now interfering in the religious affairs of the Muslims. The ‘Qurbani’ in its issue of today, in a communal strain alleging that the Sindhi Muslims were making daily attacks against the life, honour and property of Hindusand that as the Sindh Government had failed to protect them, it had proved itself incapable of governing. (Source: indicated).
17.11.1939: About 1500 Muslims attend Juma prayer in the Manzilgah Mosque and are addressed there-after by Pir Ghulam Mujadid Sarhandi of Shikarpur, who exhorts the Satyagrahis to remain firm at their posts and only allow the police to take possession of the Mosque at the cost of their lives. The situation continued to be tense and was aggravated by the behaviour of the Hindu Sabha volunteers who were strutting about in streets in Khaki dress.(Source: The Report of the Chief Secretary to the Government of Sindh). Five Sub-Inspectors, 160 additional police and teargas Squad arrive at Sukkur in furtherance of the evacuation scheme. (Source: Newspapers). Swami Dutt presides over the meeting of local branch of Arya Samaj, at Kambar. He eulogises the past powers of Hindus and advises participants to face the situation with boldness. (source: Newspapers). The ‘Asr-i-Jadid’ contains an editorial strongly criticising the speech of Dr. Moonji at the Hindu Conference held at Sukkur recently (Source: indicated- This may kindly be noted that the Conference was for Hindus only and a Christian shorthand reporter was not permitted to enter the pandal, while even two Hindu reporters were refused entry on the pretext that all tickets had been sold.)
18.11.1939: Servants of People Society of Lahore takes notice of distress among the Hindus of Upper Sindh and decides to provide financial and moral support to them. (Source: Newspapers, and see also The Report of the Sindh Chief Secretary, dt.13.1.1940).
19.11.1939: Manzalgah area is evacuated by force. G.M.Syed and other leaders are arrested in Sukkur.Violence erupts in Sukkur city. Nine dead bodies are brought to Civil Hospital, four of whom were Muslims and five Hindus. Six persons brought injured deied later on and they were three Muslims and three Hindus. (Source: Inquiry Report). The Chief Secretary reports that ‘ Stray assualts on unwary persons occurred during the day. A Moulvi was killed inside his house by a sowrd –thrust. The sword was left by the culprits in the body of their victom presumbly as a reply to the murder of Bhagat Kanwar Ram.Curfew is imposed for twenty four hours in the city.(Source: Reort, dated 19.12.1939).
20.11.1939: Eleven injured persons and eleven dead bodies are received at the Civil Hospital, Sukkur.Two of injured were Muslims and nine were Hindus, and seven dead bodies were of Hindus and four of Muslims.Two more injured Hindus died in the hospital. A deputation of six Hindu leaders asks Kothawala, District Magistrate of Sukkur to post Hindu poilce in Muslim quarters to protect Hindus. (Source: Inquiry Report). The ‘Islah’, in its issue of todat contained a leader condemning Hindu propaganda against Muslims and opined that a Civil War would result if such propaganda continued. (Sourec: indicated). Today a notice is served under rule 41 (1) (a) of the Defence of India Rules on all newspapers in Sindh requiring them to submit all matters relating to the Mazilgah agitation and its outcome and all references to Bhagat Kanwar Ram;s murder to the securitny of the Provincial Press Adviser or the District Press Advisers of their respective districts. (Source: Chief Secretary’s Report, dated 12.12.1939). [The Sindh Muslim League/Haji Abdullah Haroon directed Pir Ali Muhammad Shah Rashdi to shift his propaganda cell to Lahore, where he also got support from other Provincial Muslim League branches and conducted most virulent propaganda. The ‘Zamindar’, ‘Ahsan’and ‘Shahbaz’ newspapers published articles on Sukkur riots and held the Sindh Government responsible for the disturbanse . Joint statements of Yousif Abdullah Haroon Haroon and Pir Ali Muhammad Shah Rashdi were carried by Punjab Muslim Press to help Sindhi Muslims. ]
21.11.1939: Lord Linlithgow, the Viceroy of the India writes to Sir Lancelot Graham, the Governor of Sindh that ‘I need not add that in regard to any situation of delicacy or difficulty, such as the Manzilgah Mosque case, I should wish to be kept in touch by urgent telegram, so that I can myself keep the Secretary of State in touch and avoid parliamentary difficulty which may otherwise on occasion arise’. (Source: indicated). Meeting is called by Mr.Kothawala of Hindus and Muslim leaders in his office to review the situation. Hindus demand imposition of Martial law in Sukkur. Meanwhile five injured [3 Muslims & 2 Hindus] and four dead bodies [3 Hindus & 01 Muslim] are brought to the Sukkur Hospital. (Sources: Inquiry Report , Newspapers). Trouble spread to Rohri where four Hindus were killed , and to mofussil, where the Mukhi og Goserji and Sanghi were murdered.(Source: Chief Secretary’s Report). The Mayor of Karachi, R.K.Sidhwa calls a meeting of prominent Muslim and Hindu citizens to allay the fear of a disturbance. Hashim Gazdar, MLA and member of the Restoration Committee issues statement to the press and makes appeal for suspension of the Satyagraha. (Source: Newspapers).As an off-shoot of the trouble at Sukkur the returning Satyagrahis displaced a rail between Saan and Khuman in District Dadu on the N.W.Railway. The fish plates were removed as well as 25 dog-spikes holding it to sleepers. Six sleepers were also found burning at thee different places between Tirath Laki and Amri. About forty members of the Arya Vir Dal, of Hyderabad organised on Khaksar lines paraded with Lathi. It was decided by their meeting that to form an organisation for protection of Hindus. The Young Bhaiband Club of Hyderabad, Amil Shewa Dal of Hyderabad also took same decision and enrolled volunteers and collected subscriptions. (Source:The Report of the Chief Secretary. Dated 12.12.1939). The ‘Hayat’, in its issue of today reports falsely that a Jat Sikh Regiment attacked innocent wayfarer Muslims with bayonets and that Hindu officers instigated Hindus against Muslims. The paper further says that the Hindus of Sukkur were waiting for an opprotunity to run madly towards the city and plunder Muslim shops and set fire to Muslim houses . It was all false. (Source: indicated). The ‘Kumar’ in its issue of today alleged that Muslim police at Sukkur failed to prevent Muslim rioters from attacking Hindus and burning Hindu houses and even helped Muslims to do so. (Source: indicated). The ‘Sansar Samachar’ in its issue of today in lengthy article entitled ‘ An Open Letter To His Excellency Sir Lancelot Graham, Governor of Sindh’, commenting on communal events in Sindh stated that the Hindus had to pay the penalty of the Manzilgah- a dispute between Government and the Muslims and appealed to Governor to interfere in the matter and protect the life and property of Hindus. (Source: indicated).
22.11.1939: Six injured persons and two dead bodies of Muslims are brought to the Sukkur Civil Hospital (Source: Inquiry Report). Railway Telephone wires between Manjhand and Kotri are cut. Some Sleepers on Bridge No.418 bettween Saan and Amri are found burning. (Source: Chief Secretary’s Report of dated 12.12.1939).
23.11.1939: A Panchayat in Larkana District requests the Shriromani Akali Dal of Amratsar to send five Akalis who will be paid Rs.15 per month as salary for four months.Some of the Hindus of the Gordhandas Cloth Market of Karachi, who were regular customers of a Muslim newspaper vender, refused to purchase papers from him. (Source: The Report of the Chief Secretary, Sindh, dated 12.12.1939).
24.11.1939: A railway telegraph post and the wires are again cut between Sabu Rahu and Sakrand is knocked down and the wires cut. (Source: As reported by the Chief Secretary on 12.12.1939). The ‘Ahsan’ of Lahore, in nits issue of today, published a poem entitled ‘Manzilgah’. This paper also contains article on Manzilgah issue, criticizing the Sindh Government, demanding the restoration of the Mosque, the resignation of the Sindh Ministry, the grant of compensation to the relatives of Muslim killed in the riots and appointment of a Inquiry Committee.(Sourse: indicated).
25.11.1939: Two persons are killed on shop at Sindh Wah, Shikarpur. (Source: Newspapers). Telegraph wires are again cut between Amri and Saan.(Source: As reported by the Chief Secretary on 12.12.1939).
26.11.1939: The Bombay Muslim League has requested the Sindh Muslim League to send it daily report regarding the happenings in Sindh arising out of the Sukkur Masjid Manzilgah agitation.(Source: ‘Source-Material on Sindh Muslim League’, compiled by Gul Hayat Institute).
01.12.1939: Sikhs from Quetta has appealed to the President, Shromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee, Amratsar, to prevent the Muslims from taking possession of the Sukkur Sadhbelo, which they allege was a Gurdwara. They also threaten to bring into Sindh a Jatha of 300 men with Kirpans in order to protect Sadhbela and lay down their lives for the cause of their religion. (Source: Newspapers). The ‘Inqlab’ of Lahore has published a statement of Pir Ali Muhammad Shah Rashdi condemning the Sindh Ministry for the oppression of the Muslims involved in the Manzilgah agitation, accusing Hindus of having delivered provocating speeches at the Sindh Hindu Conference, held at Sukkur just previously, and requesting the Sindh Governor to dissolve the Sindh Legislative Assembly and order fresh election. Pir Ali Muhammad Shah had escaped arrest in Sindh and is at present in Punjab. The ‘Shahbaz’ of Lahore, today, has published resolution passed at a Muslim League meeting at Peshawar condemning the Sindh Ministry for the communal disturbances at Sukkur. The ‘Sindh Observer’ has taken objection to Punjab Muslim Press propaganda. The ‘Al-Islam’ of Quetta published ‘ Martyrs issue’ and cotain articles in a communal strain on the Masjid Manzilgah. (Source: indicated).
02.12.1939: Reports have gone to Amirtsar Gurdwar in which it has been falsely alleged that nearly two hundred children were burnt alive during the Sukkur riots. Appeals have been made to Sikh community at Amirtsar to send Jathas to help the Hindus, who were prepared to pay expenses and co-operate secretly with Jathas. Bhai Parmanand of Lahore is taking personal interest in the protection of Sindh Hindus. He is in touch with Shamdas P. Gidwani of Sindh Hindu Sabha. The Some of Sindhi Hindu communal leaders have sent letters to Dr. Rajendra Prasad, Pandit Jawaherlal Nehru and Subhas Chandra Bose that the Muslim ministers were persecuting Hindu villages and also that the womenfolk of the Hindu community were molested by Muslim ruffians. (Sindh Home Department’s Report). The ‘Ehsan’ and the ‘Shahbaz’ of Lahore contain resolutions passed at Quetta condemining the Sindh Ministry for its anti-Muslim policy and demanding the restoration of the Manzilgah. (Source: indicated).
03.12.1939: The meeting of the Working Committee of the District Muslim League, Shikarpur adopts resolution that Hindu villagers intended to involve innocent Muslims in court cases arising of the Sukkur riots and Government is urged to look into matter. (Source: Newspaper). Mr. Viromal Begraj, President, Sindh Hidu Sabha has requested the leaders of the Hindu Maha Sabha like Dr. Moonji, Mr. V.D. Savarkar and others to visit Sukkur and conduct enquirs into the atrocities perpetrrated on Hindus by Muslims. (Source:The Sindh Observer). The ‘Shahbaz’ paper of Lahore, in its issue of today publishes an account of riots at Sukkur in which it says that propaganda maligning the Muslims was carried by Hindus ever since the Sukkur Manzilgah agitation was started. (Source: indicated). The ‘Al-Wahid’, The ‘Qurbani’, The ‘Dharamvir’, The ‘ DAwat-i-Islam’, The ‘Sindhi’ and the ‘Zamindar’ newspapers served Notices under Section 144 of the C.P.C, directing the editors to refrain from publishing any articles in connection with the Manzilgah agitation for a period of one month. (Chief Secretary’s Report of 12.12.1939).
04.12.1939: A Muslim meeting is held at Larkano at which the speakers requested the audience to volunteer their names for Sukkur agitation in case Government failed to restore the Manzilgah Mosque to Muslims. A complete hartal was also observed by Muslim businessmen as a mark of displeasure against the Government attitude.(Source: Newspapers). The Sanatan Dharam Pritinidhi Sabha of Lahore decides to send a batch of volunteers to help the Hindus of Sindh. (The ‘Partab’, Lahore).
05.12.1939: Basantram Motwani, President Sukkur Municipalty writes to Inspector-General –General of Police giving details of vicitmization of Hindus of Sukkur. (Source: Inquiry Report).Valecha of the Sukkur district Congress Committee issues /produce a pamphlet written to the Sindh Premier. It is based on oral representations made by the Sukkur Panchayat. (Source: Pamphlet). At an Arya Samaj meeting in Karachi, speakers advise the audience to develop physical strength in order to be in position to protect Hindu community. One of speakers alleged that after looting the Hindus in Shikarpur, their womenfolk were burn alive. Handbills issued by Mr. Shamdas P. Gidwani were distributed on this ocassion in which Hindu women and children were advised not to leave their houses after sunset. Such a type of meetings are reported from Larkano and Hyderabad also. (Source: Newspapers). A pamphlet entitled , ‘Why Bloodshed in Sindh?’ by Pir Ali Muhammad Shah Rashdi, printed at Lahore is distributed in various cities of Sindh. It reviews Sindh affairs from the Muslim League point of view and criticising the present Ministry, alleges that the bloodshed and lawlessness which occurred on the Sukkur Manzilgah question was due to the fact that present Ministry were afraid of losing their Hindu following. The Pamphlet further alleges that the Ministry is in custody and at the mercy of the Hindu party.( This Pamphlet was forefeited under the Press Act, on 09.12,1939). The ‘Zamindar’ of Lahore contains a letter from an unknown MLA of Sindh, conveying thanks to the Punjab Muslims, and says that while the Sindh Government had gagged the Muslim press in Sindh, the Hindu press continued in indulging in anti-Muslim propaganda. This letter demands payment of compensation to Muslim sufferers and the release of Manzilgah prisoners.( Source: indicated). [It is doubted that the letter was written by Ali Muhammad Shah Rashdi, who was in Lahore and he managed to get it published.]. The Sindh Government imposes ban on the Poster in Sindhi entitled, ‘ Sindh Je Musalmanan Danh Pegham’ under Indian Press Emergency Powers Act. (Source: Government Notification).
06.12.1939: The ‘Ehsan’ of Lahore, in its issue of today published resolutions condemning the Sindh Ministry, passed at Muslim meetings held at Sialkot, Rasulpur, Kapurthala and Kot Radhe Kishin. (Source: indicated). The Sindh Government forefeited a poster in Urdu, entitled, ‘Sindh ke Muzloom aur bekas Musalmanan ke nam Musalmanan Hind ka Pegham’ [Message from Muslims of India to the oppressed and helpless Muslims of Sindh]. It carry the name of Muhammad Ibrahim Chishti, Secretary, Punjab Muslim Students Federation, printed at Itthad Press, Ball Road, Lahore, in which it is said that unarmed Muslims have been slaughtered at Sukkur and that Government are not only piercing the bosoms of innocent Muslims by their own bullets, but also instigating the Hindus to do same. It contains an appeal that the Sindh Manzilgah Martyrs Day should be observed throughout the length and breadth of Punjab, on Friday, the 1st December 1939. It also appeals to the Punjab Muslims for funds and volunteers to help the oppressed Muslims of Sindh.
07.12.1939: A black flag procession is taken out in Larkano which ended with public meeting. The speakers exhorted the audience to saxcrifice their lives and property in the case of the Manzilgah and appealed to Government to release All Muslims arrested in connection with the agitation for restoration of Masjid Manzilgah. (Source: The Daily Al-Wahid). The Sindh Government imposes ban on a Cyclo-styled letter in Sindhi regarding the evacuation of the Manzilgah at Sukkur and purporting to have been addressed by Shaikh Abdul Latif from Sukkur to K.B. Allah Bux Soomro. The action has been taken under the Indian Press Emergency Powers Act. (Source: Government Notification)
08.12.1939: A hartal is observed in Dadu District as a protest again the arrest of G.M.Syed and was followed by a procession in which an effigy of the Premier K.B.Soomro with blackened was taken out and burnt. In an other meeting speakers alleged that the Zulum that was perpetrated against the Muslims was a result of bribe taken by the Premier from Hindus. The students of Nauahahro Feroz Madressah and High school did not attend their classes for one day as a protest against Government;s policy regarding the Sukkur Manzilgah. (Source: Newspapers).
12.12.1939: The Chief Secretary to the Government of Sindh informs the Government of India that “An objectionable poster on the alleged demands of Indian Muslims regarding the Manzilgah riots, printed at Lahore in Urdu and Sindhi has come to notice in Karachi and Sukkur respectively were copies were found posted on the walls of Mosques and other public places. The poster is being sent to Sindh enclosed in Urdu newspaper printed in Lahore. The poster refers to the heartless and oppressive manner in which innocent and oppressed Muslims of Sukkur have been ruined and compares the conditons at Sukkur to those obtaining in the days of Hilako Khan and Chaghez Khan. It goes on to say that the only crime committed by the Muslims of Sukkur and Sindh was that they wanted the House of God to be restored to them. The poster also criticizes the Ministry in that, that after siplling the blood of Muslims at Sukkur they still cling to offices. It demands that compensation for the loss of Muslim lives and property should be paid by the Premier and Sir Ghulam Hussain Hidayatullah from their own pockets and they should resign foethwith and retire from public life. This poster was also received enclosed in copies of the ‘Inqlab’ of Lahore. Government propose to proscribe this poster under section 19 of the Press (Emergency Powers) Act, 1931. It is understood that the leaders of the Manzilgah agitation have approached the editor of the ‘Civil and Military Gazette’ and the ‘Statesman’ for support to their publicity. It is further learnt that the editor of the ‘Al-Wahid’ has engaged the services of messengers to collect all news about the Manzilgah Satyagraha and Sukkur riots which he intends to send to the Punjab for publication so as to represent the case of Muslims and to keep alive the agitation from Lahore. The ‘Al-Wahid’ believes that the material so collected will be useful as evidence before an Enquiry Commission, if such is appointed. The Punjab Government have however been requested to impose a censorship on these attacks upon the Sindh Ministry. (Source: indicated).
13.12.1939: The ‘Star of India’, Calcutta published exaggereted reports of the Sukkur riots and are refuted by Sindh Government. (Source: Chief Secretary’s Report, dt:13.1.1940).
15.12.1939: The military is removed from the bazar area of Sukkur town. (Source: Newspapers). The ‘Inqlab’ and ‘Ihsan’ , both papers of Lahore contain articles on Sukkur roits. The latter newspaper appeals to Muslim lawyers to volunteer their services free of charge to defend Muslims involved in Sukkur riot cases. (Source: Inqlab and Ihsan Newspapers of Lahore).
16.12.1939: The Sindh Governor, L.Graham writes detailed letter to the Viceroy of India so as to apprise him of the situation created by Sukkur riots. He writes: ‘ There can, I think, be no doubt that the main blame lies with the Muslims for trouble in Sukkur itself, though it must be admitted that the Hindus contributed to the ill-feeling by their provocative attitude especially on the occasion of their Conference which was addressed by Dr. Moonji…..The Muslim League continues to scream for the blood of my Cabinet, though Sir Haji Abdullah Haroon has thought fit to remove himself with his minion, Ali Muhammad Shah Rashdi, to Lahore. From there he is pouring out propaganda and I am waiting my chance to pick him up for substantial offence under the Penal Code. My Ministers were anxious to prosecute Rashdi for a Pamphlet which mainly consisted of a personal attack on me for my alleged unconstitutional manner in the selection of my Ministers. (Source: indicated). The ‘Al-Islam’ of Quetta published an objectionable article under the caption:’Eye Witness Account of the Sukkur Manzilgah Mosque’. In this article it is sought to prove that there was a pre-arranged conspiracy on the part of Hindus to massacre Muslims, that shots were fired by the Hindus who were sitting on house tops well-equiped with two thousand guns, that firing took place on Sadh Bella island resulting in the death of many Muslim boatmen, that two hundred armed Hindus set fire to several Muslim shops.(Source: Chief Secretary’s Report, dt: 13.1.1940).
19.12.1939: The ‘Inqlab’ of Lahore, appeals to Muslims of Sindh to overthrow the present ministry of K.B.Allah Bux Soomro. (Source: The Inqlab, Lahore). 20.12.1939:Sir Haji Abdullah Haroon, in a meeting held at his residance apprise leaders of Masjid Manzilgah Restoration Committee of his meeting with M.A.Jinnah and inform them that Jinnah was in favour of sending Investigating Committee to Sindh to probe the issue. (Source: Newspapers). At a meeting of Sukkur District Jamiat-ul-Ulema held at Pano Aqil, at which Moulvi Abdullah of Haleji presided, it was decided to make arrangements to preach nationalism and Hindu-Muslim unity. The meeting also passed a resolution regretting the attitude of the Hindu Maha Sabha towards the question of the Manzilgah, and urging them to refrain from opposing the return of the mosque to the Muslims. (Source: Newspapers).
22.12.1939: The local Muslim paper of Sukkur writes that ‘ A month had passed since the Hindu-Muslim riots broke out at Sukkur. During this period the leaders of Sukkur repeatedly requested the Chief Minister and the Collector to open the gates of the Lloyd Barrage, as we were certain that corpses of Muslims were lying in the river. The Government of Sindh opened the gates only on 20th December 1939 and within two days eight corpses were taken out which were in advanced stage of decomposition. (Source: Quoted in Government record. See, Governor’s report to the Viceroy, dt. 9.1.1940).
27.12.1939: Sindh Governor, in his letter writes that ‘ I asked my Chief Minister (Allah Bux Soomro) on 23rd December wether he had been to the Jumma (Jamia) Masjid to say his prayers on the 22nd and he replied to me quite simply that he was not going to places like mosques at present as there is a risk of his being assassinated by emissaries of the Muslim League. Source: Date of Letter indicated. Photo copy with Gul Hayat Institute).
28.12.1939: The troops are withdrawn from Shikarpur.(Source: Newspapers).
09.01.1940: L.Grahm, the Governor of Sindh, apprising the Viceroy and Governor-General of India of Sukkur situation writes that ‘ You will remember that I sent you figure of casualties at Sukkur. Both sides are obviously anxious to show that their own side has suffered the large number of casualties and I persume that their intention is that it should be thought that side which was suffered the most casualties cannot have been aggressor’. (Source: indicated in the text).
13.1.1940: In his report to the Secretary to the Government of India, I.H.Taunto , Chief Secretary to Government of Sindh write that: ‘
“It is reported that though normal conditions have been restored in Sukkur, neverthless Hindus and Muslims are suspicious of each other and are arming themselves.Since the removal of the militry from the bazar area of Sukkur town, the Khaksars have taken to parading the Muslim quarter. Other military disposition will have to remain as they are at present until the future of the Manzilgah is decided. There has been no progress in this direction as the Hon’ble Premier was away in Bombay.
An an offshoot of the Sukkur riots, there has been a demand for the enlistment of more Hindus in the Police Department, increase in the Police force in the Province and grant of gun licences liberally to Hindu villagers. Government have acceded to demand for more Police by santioning the recruitment of 250 extra men and Punjab Government have been requested to give effect to an offer which they made in November to assist in the recruitment of this special force…The District Magistrates have been granting gun licences to Hindu villagers liberatly. Efforts have been made by non-official Hindus to appoint volunteers in towns and villages to safeguard Hindu interests.
The President Sindh Hindu Sabha, has spread exaggerated reports regarding the Sukkur riots in which it is said that two hundred and fifty Hindus had been murdered, that fifty lakhs worth of property has been lostand that eleven Hindu girls had been abducated, out of whom only eight had been restored and three are still missing. These figures are about double the true numbers. (Source: Government of Sindh Home Department [special] No.P-25-H(S)/39, Sindh Secretariat,Karachi)
14.1.1940: Police is huntting for Muhammad Salih, a retired City Magistrate and Mukhtyarkar at Shikarpur. He is to be arrested under Special Powers Ordinance,1939. This man was responsible for inflammatory articles in local newspapers.(Source:Newspapers)
15.1.1940: Mahbub Ali Shah, Secretary, Muslim League Relief Committee, Sukkur, has sent a disappointing report to the Sindh Provincial Muslim League, regarding collections towards the Relief Fund. The amount collected is Rs.1,019 and the expenditure to date is more than Rs.700. Shaikh Abdul Majeed Sindhi, MLA, Secretary, Sindh Provincial Muslim League, has issued an appeal for the sale-proceeds of the skins of animals sacrified on Bakri-Idd to be credited to the Provincial Muslim League Sukkur Relief Fund. (Source: ‘Source-Material on Sindh Muslim League’, compiled by Gul Hayat Institute).
16.1.1940: The Sindh Muslim league has asked M.A.Jinnah to expedite the enquiry on behalf of the League into the Manzilgah affair, since the Congress inquiry has been finalized. (Source: ‘Source-Material on Sindh Muslim League’, compiled by Gul Hayat Institute). The Governor of Sindh apprising the Viceroy of India of the Manzilgah affair writes that ‘ Abdul Qayum of the Central Legislative Assembly who was sent on behalf of Congress to make an inquiry has concluded his efforts in the space of a very few days and it is quite impossible that he should really have got to the root of the matter. At the same time he has made some very shrewd observations and has said that he has been struck particularly in Sindh by the lack of organised parties and any kind of loyalty to Ministers. (Reference: Governor’s letter of 16th of January 1940).
17.1.1940: The NWFP Muslim League have informed the Sindh Muslim league that since the Congress Relief Committee has already started work, anything done by the League would look ‘sham and imitation’. They have, however, persuaded a young Lawyer, Sajad Ahmad Jan of Abotabad, to go to Sukkur and appear gratis on behalf of the Muslims in the cases there. (Source: ‘Source-Material on Sindh Muslim League’, compiled by Gul Hayat Institute). Pir Ghulam Mujadid Sarhandi and others are released. (Source: Newspapers).
18.1.1940: Ali Muhammad Shah Rashdi is at Lahore, saw Sir Sikandar Hayat Khan, the Premier of Punjab in connection with the Manzilgah affair, and writes to K.B.Khuhro to visit Lahore to interview the Punjab Premier. It is learnet that Hassanally Effendi, Barrister-at-Law, who is an Assistant Public Procecuter, has offered his services free to the Muslims who are accused of offences in connection with the Sukkur riots. (Souece: Chief Secretary to Sindh Government’s report to the Government of India, No.P-25-H/40, dt, 18th January,1940). A meeting of Karachi Journalist passes resolution protesting against the continuance of, and urging Government to withdraw precensorship regarding the publication in Sukkur Manzilgah news. (Source: Newspapers).
19.1.1940: There is a bomb explosion near the Cinema in Sukkur, and a Hindu alleged to have been carrying the bomb is injured and captured. An other bomb is thrown at the Moharram procession at Nim-Jo-Chowk of Sukkur resulting one is killed and other 20 injured. (Sources: Inquiry Report, Newspapers).
20.1.1940: Five are murdered in Rohri town, five more in Rohri taluka, six in Pano Aqil, four in Obauro taluka. All are Hindus. (Source: Inquiry Report). Thirty-seven Hindus are murdered at Gosirji. Sub-Inspector of Police is later on prosecuted under Section 211 of IPC. (Reference: Ibd). Pir Ghulam Mujadid Sarhandi, at the Idd congregation held at Hyderabad, blames Government for Sukkur disturbances and announces that out of one thousand Muslims arrested, hardly twenty per cent were real offenders. He also protest against the demand of the ‘Hindu Independent Party’, saying that if ‘ fourteen points’ were cancelled the Muslims would dissociate themselves from the Hindus and the Ministry. (Source: Newspapers).
21.1.1940: Twenty-one Hindus, including Santumal are killed at Lakhi. (Source: Newspapers).
23.1.1940: A considerable military force arrives in Shikarpur, (Source: Newspapers).
24.1.1940: Pir Ali Muhammad Shah Rashdi is making efforts to secure the services of the Lawyers from Punjab to defend Muslim charged with rioting at Sukkur. He has suggested to the Sindh Muslim League that they should arrange to provide the families of Muslims in jail with food and clothing. In order to collect funds it is proposed to send two or three deputations on a tour of India. Rashdi is affaired that if adequate collections for the sufferers in Sukkur riots are not made, it would have a bad effect on the League’s influence. (Source: Reported by the Sindh Chief Secretary in his Report, dated 2nd February 1940)
25.1.1940: The Sindh Arya Pritinidi Sabha deputes Ramchand Khanna of Multan and Rupchand Sipahimalani of Hyderabad to conduct an enquiry into the Sukkur disturbances, and has decided to carry on relief work in the district. (Source: Newspapers).
26.1.1940: The Sindh Provincial Hindu Sabha, Sukkur, have requested Sir Manmathanath Mukerjee and Dr. Sir Gokalchand and Narang of Lahore to visit Sukkur, and enquire into the recent disturbances on behalf of Sabha. On the other hand Naraindas Ratanmal Malkani has been appointed as Chief Organizer by the Sukkur District Congress for the purpose of collecting facts and figures regarding the loss sustained during the Sukkur disturbances. (Source: Newspapers).
20.2.1940: The Gharibabad Gurdwara Singh Sabha, Sukkur, have appointed a Committee to arrange for the defence of Sikhs prosecuted for carrying ‘Kirpans’ during the resent Sukkur disturbances. (Source: Newspapers). The Newspaper ‘Qubani’ criticises the Ministry for its conduct in the Manzilgah affair and reproduces the resolutions passed at the Working Committee of the All-India Hindu Mahasabha that a ‘Sukkur riots Day’ be observed throughout India on the 3rd March by holding meetings at which Government should be urged to punish the offenders. (Source: indecated ).
21.2.1940: On arrival at Larkano, Kazi Fazlullah, one of the leaders who were arrested under the Ordinance on account of the Manzilgah agitation, is received at station by hundreds of Muslims who welcome and garlanded him. (Source: Newspapers).
22.2.1940: It is reported that a sum of about Rs. 40,000 has been collected for the Congress Sukkur Relief Fund, mainly from Bombay, but also from places so far away as Coimbatore. Government in addition to the grant of Rs. 25,000 already sanctioned, have decided to allot Rs. 50,000 for loans at low rates of interest to those who were rendered destitute by riots. (Source: Newspapers).
23.2.1940: The Secretary, Sindh Provincial Muslim League, has appealed to the Muslim public and branches of the League in Sindh to protest against the proposed extension of the Sindh Frontier Regulation to Sukkur District. (Source: Source-Material on Sindh Muslim League’, compiled by Gul Hayat Institute). Leaflets regarding the Manzilgah entitled ‘ The Truth about the Manzilgah. My interview with His Excellency’, over the signature of T.D. Chatlani of the Union Shrine Agency, and by Shamsulhaq regarding the Muslim demands in relation to the Manzilgah were sold in Karachi for one piee each. (Source: Newspapers). The Newspaper, ‘Hindu’ in its issue of today reproduces the resolutions passed by the Working Committee of the All-India Hindu Mahasabha and appeals for observing 3rd March as a ‘Sukkur riots Day’. (Source: indicated). The Newspaper, ‘Sansar Samachar’ in its issue of today, in an anti-Ministerial article asks the Hindu MLAs not to join the Allah Bux Ministry alleging that the Muslim Ministers had encouraged the ‘Satyagrahis’ associated with the Manzilgah movement. (Source: indicated).
24.2.1940: Proceedings under Section 153-A, Indian Penal Code have been taken against the ‘Dawat-i-Islam’ and ‘Sansar Samachar’ for exciting communal bitterness. (Source: Newspapers)
01.03.1940: All troops at Sukkur, including the company of Rajputs are withdrawn. (Source: Government Notification). At a meeting of the Hindu Sabha, Hyderabad, a resolution is passed sympthising with editor of the ‘Sansar Samachar’, because of his prosecution under Section 153-A, Indian Penal Code, for writing an article on the Manzilgah affair which was intensely communal. Today, the said paper has appealed to Hindus for monetary help to defend the editor. A sum of Rs.10 has been raised so for his defence. (Source: indicated).
02.03.1940: A public meeting presided over by K.B. Ali Bux Muhammad Hussain held at Shikarpur demands lifting of ban on the movements of certain members of the Masjid Manzilgah Restoration Committee. (Source: Newspapers). Under the auspices of the Guru Singh Sabha and the Azad Khalsa Dal, Karachi, ‘Nabha Day’ is observed where resolutions are passed urging the Government of India to re-install the ex-Maharaja Gurcharansingh of Nabha on the Gadi, and urging the Sindh Government to release the Sikhs arrested for wearing oversized ‘Kirpans’ during the Sukkur riots. (Source: Newspapers).
03.03.1940: The Arya Samaj and the Hindu Mahasabha observe ‘Sukkur Day’ with three-fold object, viz, to sympathize with the Hindu sufferers in Sukkur riots, to urge Government to appoint Hindu and Sikh policemen in Sukkur district and to raise funds in aid of Hindu sufferers. (Source: ibd).
04.03.1940: The dissemination of tendentious literature on the Sukkur agitation continues. The Police intercepted under Section 26 of the Post Office Act, the following documents, all exhibiting a strong pro-Hindu bias: - ‘Statement of Manzilgah and Sukkur Riots’, issued by Dr.Choithram P. Gidwani, MLA, and Professor Ghanshyam Jethanand, MLA, ‘Manzilgah and Sukkur Riots’, by C.T.Valecha, MLA, and ‘Report regarding the Manzilgah affair and recent Sukkur disturbances’, by Lalchand Arya, Secretary, Sindh Provincial Hindu Mahasabha, Sukkur. (Sourece: Chief Minister to Government of Sindh’s Report, dated,19th March 1940).
05.03.1940: Two more Newspapers, viz., ‘Al-Wahid’ and the ‘Qurbani’ are prosecuted for exciting communal bitterness under Section 153-A of the Indian Penal Code. (Source: Newspapers). The ‘Sansar Samachar’ , in its issue of today, congratulates the ‘Hindu Independent Party’ for sitting in opposition benches and appeal to them to vote in favour of the rupee one cut motions to bring down the Ministry. It goes on to say that the public should not celebrate ‘Holi’ because the minds of Hindus are grived at the atrocities perpetrated against them in Sukkur. (Source: indicated).
11.3.1940: The Sindh Governor, while apprising the Viceroy of India of the Manzilgah affair, writes that ‘ I have nothing to add on the subject of the Manzilgah because I have already made it plain that the Manzilgah was merely used as a stick with which to beat Government’. (Source: Governor’s letter of 11.3.1940).
18.3.1940: The Newspaper ‘Qurbani’ criticises the new Ministry and adds that the so called Nationalist Party consists of Muslim Leaguers who were responsible for the ugly event which occurred in Sukkur district. (Source: date of the issue of the paper is given).
23.3.1940; The Sindh Governor while apprising the Viceroy of India of the Manzilgah affair writes that ‘ The Manzilgah business is one of the matters which the new Government has undertaken to settle. The agreement is that there shall be an inquiry by a competent tribunal, i.e a tribunal with power to record evidence and to summon and compel the attendance of witness, and that action shall be taken in pursuance of the decision of the tribunal. This, however, I understand is not really intended because it is realized that probably decision of the tribunal will be that the Muslims have failed to prove their case. This will be entirely unacceptable to the Muslims and the intention, I am told, is to set up a tribunal and before it has time to function to arrive at some amicable conclusion which will result in the Muslims getting possession subject to safeguard. The tribunal will then be told that there is no need for it to continue its inquiries, though it appears to me that once the tribunal has been lawfully appointed under the Act no power short of the Legislature can stop it from completing its inquiry if it choose to do so. (Source: indicated). The ‘Islah’ strongly urges the new Government to restore the Manzilgah mosque immediately to Muslims without appointing a tribunal. The paper adds that if the Ministry fails to do so this, the Muslim public will conclude that the agitation was started for selfish ends. (Source: indicated).
27.3.1940: Government of Sindh appoints a Court of Inquiry under Section 3 of the Public Inquires Act,1940 to inquire in matters connected with Sukkur riots. (Source: Government Notification). The paper ‘Jamhoor’ accuses the League and Hindu parties for all the trouble at Sukkur, and wonders what will happen with the Ministry formed of these parties at the helm of affairs and occupying the ‘thrones of Law and Justice’. (Source: indicated).
05.04.1940: The Chief Secretary to the Government of Sindh, in his Fortnightly Report writes that ‘ With the advent of the new Ministry (Headed by Mir Bandeh Ali Khan Talpur), the Manzilgah is not as much a live issue as it was in the past – though the final disposal of this throny problem is awaited by the public with interest. Government have appointed one of Judges of the Judicial Commissioner’s court to inquire into the riots. Meanwhile, Mr. Ali Muhammad Rashdi has written yet another pamphlet called ‘ A Cursory Glance at the Politics of Sindh’, copies of which, it is understood, were distributed at the 27th session of the All-India Muslim League at Lahore. In the brochure Khan Bahadur Allah Bux is severly criticised. The Hindus for their part have not forgotten the riots and reports have been received that Sukkur Day was observed in all the principal towns of Sindh and also at Calcutta, where Hindus were asked to organize their forces under the Hindu Mahasabha and no longer trust in non-violence. Retaliation was even suggested on Muslims in provinces where Muslims are in minority. The diehards among Hindus still urge that the Manzilgah should be Government property. (Source: Letter No.P-25-H-S/40).
06.04.1940: The Hindu Panchayat at Diplo adopted a resolution congratulating the editor of the ‘Sansar Samachar’ on his prosecution and condeming Government for it and urging its withdrawal. The paper notifies that a sum of Rs.750 has so for been collected for the editor’s defence. (Source: The Sansar Samachar).
07.04.1940: The Court of Inquiry issues notices for a prelimnary hearing. (Source: The Daily Alwahid).
09.04.1940: While apprising the Viceroy of the Manzilgah affair, the Sind writes to him that ‘ The Manzilgah business is going to be investigated by the same officer, Mr. Justice Weston, who is in charge of the Sukkur Riots Tribunal. I do not think that my Ministry are already out of their difficulties and I have warned them that they can not expect a high judicial Officer to pay any attention to their manoeuvres for a compromise while he is conducting the inquiry. I have heared that the Chief Minister has also been warned in the same strain by the Judicial Commissioner. (Source: Date of letter indicated).
19.4.1940: Pakistan Day is observed at Sukkur and a procession is taken out that ended in a meeting at which besides the Pakistan resolution is adopted sympathising wit Dr. Muhammad Yamin on his conviction under Section 153-A, Indian Penal Code, and appealing to the Government to withdraw all cases against the members and workers of the Sukkur Masjid Manzigah Restoration Committee. (Source: Newspapers).
20.4.1940:The Chief Secretary to Government of Sindh, in his Report for the Government of India writes: ‘With the advent of the new Ministry the Manzilgah agitation has deied down, thus giving support to the belief that it was engineered mainly to overthrow the Allah Bux Ministry. After adjournment of the Assembly, the Premier with two of his colleagues proceeded to Sukkur and his visit has raised expectations of communal peace with an early settlement of the Manzilgah issue. (Source: letter No. P-25-H-S/40). Representatives on behalf of Hindu and Muslim Association appear before Court of Inquiry, at Sukkur. (Source: Newspapers). Shaikh Wajid Ali Ghulam Hussain, the dictator, and other members of the Manzilgah Restoration Committee returned to Shikarpur on expiry of the prohibitory order against them under the Sindh Ordinance. They were received at rhe railway station by 3,000 Muslims, who expressed regret at the injuries sustained by them in the lathi charge at the Manzilgah. Shaikh Wajid in thanking them said it was gratifying to note that their trifling sacrifices had brought the downfall of the Allah Bux Ministry (Source: Chief Secretary to the Government of Sind’s Report).
24.4.1940: The Sindh Governor while apprising the Viceroy of India of the Sukkur Situation, writes that ‘ Three of my Ministers- The Premier Mir Bandah Ali, Shaikh Abdul Majeed Sindhi & Gokaldas- spent ten days in Sukkur town and the district trying to bring about improved relations between Hindus and Muslims and in particular attempting to get a settlement of the Manzilgah before the tribunal reaches a finding. My Ministers appear to have had no sort of success and generally to have made themselves unpopular with the public of Sukkur.(Source: Date of the letter is indicated).
23.4.1940: Notices are published in local Newspapers by the Court of Inquiry inviting persons who desire to give evidence. (Source: Newspapers).
03.05.1940: Mr. Valecha,Member Sindh Legislative Assembly makes application to the Court of Inquiries seeking representation on behalf of the Sukkur District Congress . (Source: “Source-Material on Sindh Congress Committee’, compiled by Gul Hayat Institute).
05.05.1940: Hindu Panchayat submits its statement in the Court of Inquiry at Sukkur in which allegation of criminal negligence in duty are leveled against local and District Administration (Soure: Newspapers)
06.05.1940: The Chief Secretary to the Government of Sindh, while reporting to the Government of India on the Sukkur situation, writes, ‘ The Manzilgah problem still remains undecided. The recent visit of three Hon’able Ministers to Sukkur, which it was thought might bring about a private settlement of this question, does not seem to have borne any fruit. At a congregation in the Jamia Mosque of Shikarpur, Pir Ghulam Mujadid Sarhandi related his goal experiences and gave an account of the Sukkur Manzilgah Agitation movement. He rejoiced over the fall of the Allah Bux Ministry. A report on the Sukkur riots issued by Malik Ramchand Khana, Vakil of Multan, President, Arya Pritinidhi Sabha Sindh Enquiry Committee has been intercepted in the Post. In reaction to the 21-points given by the Hindu Independent Party and consequently accepted by the new Government, the Sindh Muslim League has presented 34-points as their demads. It seems that approach of Hindus and Muslims to the problem is so contradictory that the attempt to present an agreed case to the court hace failed. (Source: Letter No. P-25-H/S/40).The Court of Inquiries started recording Evidences at Sukkur. It continued up to 25th May,1940. (Source: Inquiry Report).
10.5.1940: The Sindh Governor, while apprising the Viceroy of India of the progress about the proceedings of Sukkur Tribunal writes that ‘ The inquiry into the Sukkur riots has been started by the Hon’able Mr. Weston one of the judges of the Chief Court. So far there have been only two days of hearing and I cannot say on what lines it will develop. The Government position is in hands of the Public Prosecutor from Karachi, Mr. O’ Sullivan, and I am convinced that he will look after the interest of the Government servants whose conduct might come under review. There has been a strong move which has received some support from my Ministers to secure the transfer from Sukkur of the District Magistrate Mr. Kothawala and also the District Superintendent of Police Mr. Moss. The attitude which I have taken so far is that unless the Judge in charge of the inquiry vreports to my Government that the proceedings of his Enquiry are being subjected to intereference by either of these officers, I shall not consider that the transfer of these officers now would amount to strong expression of disapproval of their conduct during the riots. (Source: indicated).
14.5.1940: K.B.Allah Bux Soomro appears before the Court of Inquiries so as to record his Evidence. (Source: Newspapers).
16.5.1940: The Chief Secretary to the Government of Sindh, in his report prepared for the Government of India, writes that: The enquiry into the Sukkur riots continued. At one stage the Hindus threatened to boycott the enquiry unless Government conceded several demands, including immediate transfer of officers, who were in Sukkur during the riots. Dr. Muhammad Alam, Barrister of Lahore is appearing on behalf of the Sindh Muslim League. He is accompanied by Ali Muhammad Shah Rashdi, who has been entrusted by Sindh Muslim League with relief work in the District. (Source: Letter Mo.P-25-H-S/40).
07.06.1940: The ‘Islah’ of Karachi (Edited by Hakim Fatih Muhammad Sehwani) which was antagonistic to the present Cabinet, in an open letter to the Governor of Sindh complains against three members of the present Ministry, viz., Shaikh Abdul Majeed Sindhi, K.B. Muhammad Ayub Khuhro and G.M.Syed, who the paper says are mainly responsible for the sukkur tragedy, and should be made to vacate their offices and stand their trial before the Court of Inquiry. (Source: Reported by the Chief Secretary to Government of Sindh).
21.6.1940: The Chief Secretary to the Government of Sindh writes in his report that ‘ There are indications that communal relations in Sukkur have worsened during the last few days. The convictions in some of the riot cases and the evidence before the Court of Enquiry have aggravated communal animosity, and the old question is again being asked which community is to blame for the riots? Some leaders are anxious to faciliate a settlement by withdrawing witnesses of both the communities from the enquiry. The Muslims however feel that it would not bee in their interest to withdraw at this stage when Hindu case has been fully represented. (Letter No.P-25-H-S/40, date indicated).
22.6.1940: The Governor of Sindh while apprising the Viceroy of India of the progress report about the Tribunal writes that ‘ I rather fear that the Sukkur enquiry conducted by Mr. Waston may continue for the greater part of the month of June, by the end of which time there is likelihood that tempers will be short on both sides. The Court yesterday is reported to have sat in camera, as it was pleaded on behalf of certain witnesses who were to give evidence in respect of what happened in one of Hindu villages that the witnesses were to frightened to give evidence in the presence of a prominent Zamindar of the neighbourhood.(Source:The-Date-of-letter-indicated).
24.6.1940: The Court of Inquiries starts recording Evidences at Karachi. The was was completed on 7th July,1940.At Sukkur and Karachi total 109 witnesses were examined. Today Moulana Muhammad Sadik of Khada and Foujdar Umar Khan recorded their statements and evidences befory Court at Karachi(Source:TheDaily,Al-Wahid,Karachi).
13.7.1940: The Sindh Governor apprising the Viceroy of India of the Sukkur affair writes him that ‘ Today is the last day of the arguments in the Sukkur riots inquiry cases. The Muslims have been very badly represented by Ali Muhammad Shah Rashdi,. We wanted to arrest him at the time of the trouble, but he slipped away to Lahore. There was a fine battle between K.B.Khuhro, my P.W.D Minister, and Allah Bux , ex-Premier, before the Court and one or the other has lied extensively on a very important point. Each says the other one is liar and Allah Bux, I know, is applying to the presiding Judge for permission to prosecute Khuhro for perjury. Khuhro is, to my knowledge, such a habitual liar that I should think it unlikely that he refrained from lying merely because he was on oath before the inquiring Judge. (Source: dateindicated).
09.08.1940: The Judge, E.Weston submitts his report on the Sukkur riots. It contains 11 chapters alongwith 4 appexies. This is very important documen on the subject. In his Summary of the report, he writes that: ‘ The Hindus who suffered the more seriously in life, and who alone suffered substantially in property, are entitled to sympathy. The situation largely was not of their creation…. I do not suggest that a narrow communal attitude is peculiar to the Hindus, but as the major community in Sukkur, it may be said that they have the major responsibility for creation there of a spirit of reason; and without such a spirit the outlook for the town and for the district cannot be hopeful. As in 1930, so also in 1939 the spark which caused the conflagration was killed in Sukkur’. (Source: Inquiry Report).
After the publication of the report it occupied a prominent place in all newspapers. It was quoted extensively . The ‘Daily Gazette’, reviewing the report, blames the attitude of the ex-Premiers and remarks: ‘A Premier without a consistent line of action, he ran from pillar to post courting Hindu members at one time and Muslim members at another. As a political bargains varied so did his orders to the District Magistrate of Sukkur’. The ‘Sindh Observer’, commenting on the report remarks: ‘ K.B.Allah Bux richly deserves the strietures passed upon……The ex-Premier was attempting to reconcile the irreconcilables; had always an eye on his seat in the Assembly from Sukkur District- Whether he would be able to retain it in the face of incensed Muslim opposition at next election, would not arrive at any decision; would spend days and weeks in useless and infructuous discussions; would not enforce the ordinance specially issued to curb the mischief but allowed it to rust; and never was willing, as the Judge said. To give up his Premiership, pretending all the time that he was not enamoured of his office’. Remarking on the part played by the Muslim League, the paper remarks: ‘But League got the Ministry they thirsted for by overthrowing K.B. Allah Bux. Here we cannot help remarking that the Governor should himself have guided properly his in-experienced ministers at a critical moment on account of his own large and wider experience, which they did not get from him. It is as if the Governor did not exist in those days, everything being left in the hands of K.B.Allah Bux Soomro, although it became clear at some stage or other that the Premier was hopelessly bungling and required the guidance of a mature and firmer brain that of the Governor.’ The ‘Sansar Samachar’ remarks that the report has connived at the sins of the officials.’ The ‘Hindu’ writes that although the official have been exonerated many serious allegations have been admitted against the Police Department and exhorts the Inspector-General of Police to take proper steps to remove this blot on name of the police’.