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Karnataka - Gulbarga Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

When the Indian Army liberated thousands

T.V. Sivanandan

Vallabhbhai Patel ordered action against the Nizam on this day


  • The Nizam had refused to merge the State with the Indian Union
  • His private army, the Razakars, terrorised the majority community
  • `Operation Polo' was launched against the Nizam
  • In 12 hours, 61 km of Hyderabad territory was captured

    GULBARGA: September 13 is an important day in Indian history. It was on this day that Vallabhbhai Patel, as Deputy Prime Minister, ordered the Army to move into the Hyderabad princely State to end the resistance put up by the Nizam, Mir Osman Ali Khan, who refused to merge the State with the Indian Union and dreamt of establishing a second Muslim state in the subcontinent. The Nizam and his private army, the Razakars, led by Kazim Rizwi, had terrorised the majority community, the Hindus, and tried to capture an Indian post near Chillakallu village on September 6, 1948.

    A squadron of Poona Horse and a company of Gorkha Rifles, which went to investigate the intrusion, came under heavy fire from Nizam's private army. However, the Indian Armed Forces, with their superior firepower, chased back the Razakars to Hyderabad territory. The Nizam's army also fired upon the Indian forces, and the latter caused heavy casualties on the Nizam's army and forced them to surrender at Kodar village.

    It was then that the first plan for a military operation against Nizam was outlined by then Lt. General E.N. Goddard, GOC-in-Chief Southern Command, to capture Hyderabd by using the 1st Armoured Division from Vijayawada and another division from Solapur to pin down the Nizam's forces. The final plan of the armed action against Hyderabad, called "Operation Polo," was based on the Goddard plan. It envisaged two major thrusts from the west from Solapur and an eastern thrust along the Vijayawada-Hyderabad axis. After weathering resistance from the Hyderabad Infantry, the Indian forces advanced to Jalkot, and within 12 hours captured 61 km of Hyderabad territory. Finally, the armed action came to an end on September 17, with the Nizam announcing a ceasefire around 5 p.m. According to military records, General Chaudhari rode at the head of an armoured column into Hyderabad around 4 p.m. on September 18 and the Hyderabad army, led by Major General El Edroos, surrendered.

    This saw the end of the 235-year rule by the Asaf Jha Dynasty, which extended from Malwa in the north to Tiruchirapalli in the south and was the last vestige of Mughal rule in the country.

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