Jammu and Kashmir’s accession to India in 1947: Here’s what happened


Restrictions were imposed in various parts of Jammu and Kashmir on Friday to prevent protests called to mark the accession of the state to India.

Separatist leaders Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and Yasin Malik have asked people to observe Kashmir’s Accession Day as a “black day”.

It was on this day in 1947 that the Indian Army landed in Srinagar. Here is the story behind Jammu and Kashmir’s accession to India:

When India attained Independence in August 1947, rulers of princely states had to decide whether to join India or Pakistan.

According to a BBC article by Victoria Schofield — author of Kashmir in Conflict — Jammu and Kashmir ruler Maharaja Hari Singh could not decide which country to join. “He was Hindu, his population was predominantly Muslim. He therefore did nothing,” Schofield writes.

A study published on Standford.edu says that on October 22, 1947, “an impatient Pakistan invaded Kashmir from the north with an army of soldiers and tribesmen armed with modern weapons… Kashmir, without an army, was under serious threat.”

“The intention of Pakistan had been to instill fear into the Kashmiris so they would surrender quickly.”

Concerned over the violence, Maharaja Hari Singh requested armed assistance from India.

“The then Governor-General, Lord Mountbatten, believed the developing situation would be less explosive if the state were to accede to India…” writes Schofield. 


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