Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Sunday paid tributes to those who lost their lives during Partition and recalled his own family's migration from present day Pakistan.
"It was not just partition of land but partition of our emotions," Khattar said during his address in Kurukshetra on the 'Partition Horrors Remembrance Day'. Khattar also announced to build a memorial in Kurukshetra district in memory of those who lost their lives during those days.
The BJP leader, who was born seven years after Partition, said his family came to India from Jhang district in Pakistan almost empty-handed in 1947 and settled at Nindana village in Rohtak district later on.
He recalled how people travelled by trains, on foot and other modes when they were displaced. At the time of Partition, Khattar claimed, farmers who arrived in India were given pieces of barren land.
"With their hard work, they made such land productive...unfortunately, the tragedy is that even 75 years after independence, they have not got any right on those lands," he said, adding his government will look into this issue.
"We will consider this... at least those who have been tilling such land for 75 years deserve to get some rights over it," he said. On the occasion, a documentary was screened in which many senior citizens, who are now settled in different parts of Haryana, recalled the struggle and pain they went through during Partition.
Khattar, too, featured in the documentary as he narrated how his father and uncle arrived in a train in disguise to conceal their identities. They reached Sahnewal in Ludhiana where they reunited with the other family members who had arrived earlier.
"In order to protect the honour of daughters and sisters, some families killed their women with their own hands," Khattar recalled. "Many jumped into wells to save their honour just as many women had jumped into wells to save their lives during the Jallianwala Bagh massacre," he said.
"When I was in school and college, my grandmother used to tell me tales from those days. Hearing them left an impact on my life," he said. Khattar turned emotional while recalling an incident which his grandfather had once told him about the struggle they had to face after Partition.
Announcing a memorial as a tribute to those who died during Partition, Khattar said it will come up on about 25 acres of land, which has been earmarked for the purpose in Pipli, he said. The "Shaheedi Smarak" will be set up by Panchnad Smarak Trust, of which Khattar is also a member.
Prime Minister Modi had announced last year that August 14 will be observed as 'Partition Horrors Remembrance Day' in memory of the struggles and sacrifices of the people. Pakistan was carved out as a separate country after the division of India by the British in 1947. Millions of people were displaced and lakhs of them lost their lives in the communal violence that followed.
(With PTI Inputs)