Hyderabad 1948: India’s hidden massacre

By Mike Thomson Presenter, Document, Radio 4

When India was partitioned in 1947, about 500,000 people died in communal rioting, mainly along the borders with Pakistan. But a year later another massacre occurred in central India, which until now has remained clouded in secrecy.

In September and October 1948, soon after independence from the British Empire, tens of thousands of people were brutally slaughtered in central India.

Some were lined up and shot by Indian Army soldiers. Yet a government-commissioned report into what happened was never published and few in India know about the massacre. Critics have accused successive Indian governments of continuing a cover-up.

The massacres took place a year after the violence of partition in what was then Hyderabad state, in the heart of India. It was one of 500 princely states that had enjoyed autonomy under British colonial rule.

When independence came in 1947 nearly all of these states agreed to become part of India.

But Hyderabad’s Muslim Nizam, or prince, insisted on remaining independent. This refusal to surrender sovereignty to the new democratic India outraged the country’s leaders in New Delhi.

After an acrimonious stand-off between Delhi and Hyderabad, the government finally lost patience.

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Pakistan: Agencies having fun with bugged phone conversations

By Ansar Abbasi

ISLAMABAD: Phone bugging of politicians, journalists, government officials and even rulers by secret agencies continues to be their favourite hobby though they should be focusing their attention on security issues and mounting incidents of terrorism.

Key officials in the government, holding important positions, have been shocked to learn that not only their casual talk with their friends and acquaintances is tapped but the transcripts of such conversations are provided to the concerned officials about whom the negative casual remarks are passed.

This is “old habits die hard” like situation for the intelligence agencies which have been repeatedly warned by no less than the Supreme Court of Pakistan to desist from this illegal practice. Instead of focusing their energies and resources on the issues of national security, the intelligence agencies have now started secretly sharing the controversial transcripts to embarrass others besides creating rifts among colleagues.

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