TIshtiaq Ahmed’s The Punjab: Bloodied, Partitioned and Cleansed – eyewitness accounts mentioned here were recorded by him.

Harijan Baba who saved abducted women

A horrific aspect of Partition violence was the abduction of an estimated 100,000 women. Subsequently, under the Inter-Dominion Treaty, signed between India and Pakistan on December 6, 1947, operations to find the abducted women were mounted in both India and Pakistan.

In Delhi, 200 Muslim women were recovered. The person who rescued most number of women was an old Harijan (the caste is now called Dalit). His name is not known, nor his modus operandi. Yet, when social activist Ais Kidwai would ask the women how they fled their abductors, a good number of them said: “An old Harijan brought me home.”

About the Harijan Baba, Kidwai writes in her memoirs on the Partition and the first two years of independent India, In Freedom’s Shade: “Some [abducted women] were recovered by social workers, some by Jamiat activists, some rescued by the police. A significant number was recovered by one man, working alone. This noble chamar rescued scores of abducted girls and secretly returned them to their homes. How I wish I could have learnt his name, but that remained forever a secret.”

He was truly India’s child of god.

The above was taken from Scroll.in‘s list of Punjabis who rescued Muslims in 1947

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