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The Atrocities of Razakars & Nizam's Police

Soon enough the Congress party was banned in Hyderabad and its leaders jailed. More ominously the ruler had surreptitiously granted a loan of 200 million rupees to Pakistan, without disclosing this to India. Determined to increase his forty-two thousand strong army, an arrangement was being made to smuggle in arms by an aerial route through contacts with an Australian named Sydney Cotton. The Nizam also tried to secure arms from the Portuguese through Goa.

Repression of the people and communal violence was rampant. Razakars, the Fascist goondas led by Qasim Razvi, were allowed indirectly to pursue these nefarious activities unchecked. At this point in time the Nizam and the Razakars were facing a two-pronged resistance from the Arya Samaj and the Hindu Mahasabha, who were fighting for Hindu rights and the other from the Communists in rural Telangana who were fighting for the rights of peasants. Both these strands of resistance posed a formidable threat to the Nizam prompting the Razakars unleashed a reign of terror on them. They went from village to village and mass-murdered, raped and kidnapped several Hindu villagers. Altogether, over 2000 people were killed and several hundred women were raped by the Razakars and Nizam’s Police during this period.

The Veera Bairanpalli village in Telangana witnessed the most gruesome massacre. From June 1948, the Razakars tried thrice to enter the village but were repelled by villagers using slings and other traditional weapons. However, in August the Razakars could break the resistance with the help of the Hyderabad State police. The villagers took refuge in the fortress in the village and were able to kill some of the Razakars. However, the defenders were overwhelmed and killed, after which the Razakars went on a rampage raping women, looting their gold ornaments and shooting dead about 118 villagers.

In Perumandla Sankeesa Village in Dornakal Mandal of Warangal district, on 1st September 1948, about 25 to 30 Razakars stormed the village on horses and gathered several people, tortured the villagers in the pretext of knowing the whereabouts of the guerrillas, took them to the outskirts and made them stand in a circle before shooting them dead. They lit hay stacks and threw those injured into the fire. Women ran away on seeing the Razakars and hid in maize fields. But they were chased and hunted down by the Razakars and raped openly in broad daylight.

In Gorata village in Bidar district of Karnataka, then a part of the Nizam-ruled Hyderabad State, the Razakar commander Shamsuddin attacked the village where the locals had hoisted a National Flag. The villagers had retaliated and killed Shamsuddin. Following this, on May 9, 1948 at Gorata village more than 200 people were massacred by the Razakars.

In Parkala village in Warangal district, despite the police prohibition of all gatherings in Warangal, more than 1,500 people from nearby villages gathered to hoist the national flag of India on 2nd September 1947. According to eyewitnesses, the police and the Razakars fired indiscriminately, killing 22 people and seriously wounding over 150. The Razakars killed three people by tying them to a tree and shooting them. In the nearby village of Laxmipuram, they sexually assaulted women, looted money, and set the huts ablaze.

There are hundreds of such acts of atrocities recorded by historians. The Razakars continued their barbaric campaign till the Indian army routed their forces with Operation Polo in 1948.

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