February 21, 2011 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Bathinda, PUNJAB (February 21, 2011): Uttam Singh (70), one of the survivors of this massacre, who now lives in Bathinda (Punjab), has recalled the memories of November 2, 1984. The news reports of coming into light of the Hondh Massacre have refreshed his wounds.
“My uncle Takht Singh and cousin Harnam Singh’s wife Amrit were burnt alive in front of our eyes,” said Uttam, a Pakistan-born Sikh who moved to India after Partition.
“They (killer gangs) entered the village at 11 am and first targeted one Gulab Singh’s family, killing 10 members. Next was Sardar Singh’s family and seven members were killed. The mob then went to Gurdial Singh’s home. The 12 members of his family, including children, had locked themselves in a room, but as the mob heard a child cry, they set the room on fire from outside and all those inside, sitting on a heap of wheat, were burnt alive,” said Uttam, adding that the miscreants were using diesel from the tractors of villagers to set houses on fire.
“We moved from one place to other in our house to save our lives. Many of our family members were injured in the process. We managed to get to a portion of the house that had an iron grill. They mob scaled the roof of another room and started pelting us with stones. We started hurling stones back to them. After some time, there was an explosion in a tractor fuel tank. And a rumour spread that Sikhs had bombs with them. The assailants then left the village,” Uttam claimed, adding that the survivors left the village at midnight in search of safer places.
He said he first tried to settle in Hoshiarpur but all his business ventures failed there, after which he moved to Bathinda about 25 years ago. He said as many as 10 families who survived the attack had been living in Bathinda and Ludhiana, while a few others were staying in Chandigarh, Panipat and Delhi.
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