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- Commencement of hostilities Day 1, 13 September
- Day 3, 15 September 320 |
- Consultations with Indian envoy
- Detentions and release of people involved
- Overhaul of bureaucracy
- Districts of Hyderabad State
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On receiving directions from the government to seize and annex Hyderabad, the
Indian army came up with the Goddard Plan (laid out by Lt. Gen. E. N. Goddard, the
Commander-in-Chief of the Southern Command). The plan envisaged two main thrusts
from Vijayawada in the East and Solapur in the West
while smaller units pinned
down the Hyderabadi army along the border. Overall command was placed in the hands
of Lt. Gen. Rajendrasinghji, DSO.
The attack from Solapur was led by Major General J.N. Chaudhari and was
composed of four task forces:
1. Strike Force comprising a mix of fast moving infantry, cavalry and light artillery,
2. Smash Force consisting of predominantly armoured units and artillery,
3. Kill Force composed of infantry and engineering units
4. Vir Force which comprised infantry, anti-tank and engineering units.
The attack from Vijayawada was led by Major General A.A. Rudra and comprised
the 2/5 Gurkha Rifles, one squadron of the 17th (Poona) Horse, and a troop from the
19th Field Battery along with engineering and ancillary units. In addition, four infantry
battalions were to neutralize and protect lines of communication. Two squadrons of
Hawker Tempest aircraft were prepared for air support from the Pune base.
The date for the attack was fixed as 13 September, even though General Sir Roy
Bucher, the Indian chief of staff, had objected on grounds that Hyderabad would be an
additional front for the Indian army after Kashmir.
Commencement of hostilities
Day 1, 13 September
The first battle was fought at Naldurg Fort on the Solapur Secundarabad
Highway between a defending force of the 1st Hyderabad Infantry and the attacking
force of the 7th Brigade. Using speed and surprise, the 7th Brigade managed to secure
a vital bridge on the Bori river intact, following which an assault was made on the
Hyderabadi positions at Naldurg by the 2nd Sikh Infantry. The bridge and road secured,
an armoured column of the 1st Armoured Brigade
part of the Smash force
into the town of Jalkot, 8 km from Naldurg, at 0900 hours, paving the way for the Strike
Force units under Lt. Col Ram Singh Commandant of 9 Dogra (a motorised battalion) to
pass through. This armoured column reached the town of Umarge, 61 km inside
Hyderabad by 1515 hours, where it quickly overpowered resistance from Razakar units
defending the town. Meanwhile, another column consisting of a squadron of 3rd
Cavalry, a troop from 18th King Edward's Own Cavalry, a troop from 9 Para Field
Regiment, 10 Field Company Engineers, 3/2 Punjab Regiment, 2/1 Gurkha Rifles, 1
Mewar Infantry, and ancillary units attacked the town of Tuljapur, about 34 km north-
west of Naldurg. They reached Tuljapur at dawn, where they encountered resistance
from a unit of the 1st Hyderabad Infantry and about 200 Razakars who fought for two
hours before surrendering. Further advance towards the town of Lohara was stalled as
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the river had swollen. The first day on the Western front ended with the Indians inflicting
heavy casualties on the Hyderabadis and capturing large tracts of territory. Amongst the
captured defenders was a British mercenary who had been tasked with blowing up the
bridge near Naldurg.
In the East, forces led by Lt. Gen A.A. Rudra met with fierce resistance from two
armoured car cavalry units of the Hyderabad State Forces. equipped with Humber
armoured cars and Staghounds, namely the 2nd and 4th Hyderabad Lancers, but
managed to reach the town of Kodar by 0830 hours. Pressing on, the force reached
Mungala by the afternoon.
There were further incidents in Hospet
where the 1st Mysore assaulted and
secured a sugar factory from units of Razakars and Pathans
and at Tungabhadra
where the 5/5 Gurkha attacked and secured a vital bridge from the Hyderabadi army.
Day 2, 14 September
The force that had camped at Umarge proceeded to the town of Rajasur, 48 km
east. As aerial reconnaissance had shown well entrenched ambush positions set up
along the way, the air strikes from squadrons of Tempests were called in. These air
strikes effectively cleared the route and allowed the land forces to reach and secure
Rajasur by the afternoon.
The Assault force from the East was meanwhile slowed down by an anti-tank
ditch and later came under heavy fire from hillside positions of the 1st Lancers and 5th
Infantry 6 km from Suryapet. The positions were assaulted by the 2/5 Gurkha
veterans of the Burma Campaign
and was neutralised with the Hyderabadis taking
At the same time, the 3/11 Gurkha Rifles and a squadron of 8th Cavalry attacked
Osmanabad and took the town after heavy street combat with the Razakars who
determinedly resisted the Indians.
A force under the command of Maj. Gen. D.S. Brar was tasked with capturing the
city of Aurangabad. The city was attacked by six columns of infantry and cavalry,
resulting in the civil administration emerging in the afternoon and offering a surrender to
There were further incidents in Jalna where 3 Sikh, a company of 2 Jodhpur
infantry and some tanks from 18 Cavalry faced stubborn resistance from Hyderabadi
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Leaving a company of 3/11 Gurkhas to occupy the town of Jalna, the remainder
of the force moved to Latur, and later to Mominabad where they faced action against
the 3 Golconda Lancers who gave token resistance before surrendering.
At the town of Surriapet, air strikes cleared most of the Hyderabadi defences,
although some Razakar units still gave resistance to the 2/5 Gurkhas who occupied the
town. The retreating Hyderabadi forces destroyed the bridge at Musi to delay the
Indians but failed to offer covering fire, allowing the bridge to be quickly repaired.
Another incident occurred at Narkatpalli where a Razakar unit was decimated by the
Day 4, 16 September
The task force under Lt. Col. Ram Singh moved towards Zahirabad at dawn, but
was slowed down by a minefield, which had to be cleared. On reaching the junction of
the Bidar road with the Solapur-Hyderabad City Highway, the forces encountered
gunfire from ambush positions. However, leaving some of the units to handle the
ambush, the bulk of the force moved on to reach 15 kilometres beyond Zahirabad by
nightfall in spite of sporadic resistance along the way. Most of the resistance was from
Razakar units who ambushed the Indians as they passed through urban areas. The
Razakars were able to use the terrain to their advantage until the Indians brought in
their 75 mm guns.
Day 5, 17 September
In the early hours of 17 September, the Indian army entered Bidar. Meanwhile,
forces led by the 1st Armoured regiment were at the town of Chityal about 60 km from
Hyderabad, while another column took over the town of Hingoli. By the morning of the
5th day of hostilities, it had become clear that the Hyderabad army and the Razakars
had been routed on all fronts and with extremely heavy casualties. At 5 pm on 17
September Nizam announced ceasefire thus ending the armed action.
On 16 September, faced with imminent defeat, the Nizam summoned the Prime
Minister Mir Laik Ali and requested his resignation by the morning of the following day.
The resignation was delivered along with the resignations of the entire cabinet.
On the noon of 17 September, a messenger brought a personal note from the
Nizam to India's Agent General to Hyderabad, K.M. Munshi summoning him to the
Nizam's office at 1600 hours. At the meeting, the Nizam stated "The vultures have
resigned. I don't know what to do". Munshi advised the Nizam to secure the safety of
the citizens of Hyderabad by issuing appropriate orders to the Commander of the
Hyderabad State Army, Major General El Edroos. This was immediately done.
P a g e
It was the Nizam's first visit to the radio station. The Nizam of Hyderabad, in his
radio speech on 23 September 1948, said "In November last , a small group
which had organized a quasi-military organization surrounded the homes of my Prime
Minister, the Nawab of Chhatari, in whose wisdom I had complete confidence, and of Sir
Walter Monkton, my constitutional Adviser, by duress compelled the Nawab and other
trusted ministers to resign and forced the Laik Ali Ministry on me. This group headed by
Kasim Razvi had no stake in the country or any record of service behind it. By methods
reminiscent of Hitlerite Germany it took possession of the State, spread terror ... and
rendered me completely helpless."
According to the records maintained by Indian Army, General Chaudhari led an
armoured column into Hyderabad at around 4 p.m. on 18 September and the
Hyderabad army, led by Major General El Edroos, surrendered.
Communal violence during and after the operation
There were reports of looting, mass murder and rape of Muslims in reprisals by
Hyderabadi Hindus and Indian Army soldiers. Jawaharlal Nehru appointed a mixed-faith
committee led by Pandit Sunderlal to investigate the situation. The findings of the report
(Pandit Sunderlal Committee Report) were not disclosed until 2013 when they were
made available at the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library in New Delhi.
The Committee concluded that while Muslims villagers were disarmed by the
Indian Army, Hindus were often left with their weapons. The violence was carried out by
Hindu residents, with the army sometimes indifferent, and sometimes participating in the
atrocities. The Committee stated that large-scale violence against Muslims occurred in
Marathwada and Telangana areas. It also concluded: "At a number of places members
of the armed forces brought out Muslim adult males from villages and towns and
massacred them in cold blood." The Committee generally credited the military officers
with good conduct but stated that soldiers acted out of bigotry. The official "very
conservative estimate" was that 27,000 to 40,000 died "during and after the police
action." Other scholars have put the figure at 200,000, or even higher.
Patel reacted angrily to the report and disowned its conclusions. He stated that
the terms of reference were flawed because they only covered the part during and after
the operation. He also cast aspersions on the motives and standing of the committee.
These objections are regarded by Noorani as disingenuous because the commission
was an official one, and it was critical of the Razakars as well.
According to Mohammed Hyder, the tragic consequences of the Indian operation
were largely preventable. He faulted that the Indian army in neither restoring local
administration, nor setting up their own military administration. As a result, the anarchy
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led to several thousand "thugs", from the camps set up across the border, filling the
vacuum. He stated "Thousands of families were broken up, children separated from
their parents and wives, from their husbands. Women and girls were hunted down and
The Indian military detained thousands of people during the operation, including
Razakars, Hindu militants and communists. This was largely done on the basis of local
informants, who used this opportunity to settle scores. The estimated number of people
detained was close to 18,000, which resulted in overcrowded jails and a paralyzed
The Indian government set up Special Tribunals to prosecute these. These
strongly resembled the colonial governments earlier, and there were many legal
irregularities, including denial or inability to access lawyers and delayed trials - about
which the Red Cross was pressuring Nehru.
The viewpoint of the government was: "in political physics, Razakar action and
Hindu reaction have been almost equal and opposite." A quiet decision was taken to
release all Hindus and for a review of all Muslim cases, aiming to let many of them out.
Regarding atrocities by Muslims, Nehru was sympathetic to Hyderabadi culture, and
considered the actions during the operation as "madness" seizing "decent people",
analogous to experience elsewhere during the partition of India. Nehru was also
concerned that disenfrachised Muslims would join the communists. Patel opposed this
viewpoint, treating the penal action as restoring law and order, and signaling that there
was no partiality towards Muslims.
The government was under pressure to not prosecute participants in communal
violence, which often made communal relations worse. Patel had also died in 1950.
Thus, by 1953 the Indian government released all but a few persons.:12-16
Overhaul of bureaucracy
The question of Hindu-Muslim balance in the bureaucracy was a sensitive one.
Muslims had predominated in the executive, police and administrative services. Before
the invasion, the Indian Cabinet, with Nehru's leadership, decided that there would be
as few changes as possible. However, Patel, who had a well-known rivalry with Nehru,
ran his Ministry with little consultation with the Indian Cabinet. The initial plans were not
followed after the invasion, partly due to different ideas at various levels of
administration. Over a hundred officers were dismissed on an ethnic basis, from all
levels, and many local officers were detained for their role in the violence. This pattern
was seen in new hirings as well.
P a g e
Junior officers from neighbouring Bombay, CP and Madras regions were
appointed to replace the vacancies. They were unable to speak the language and were
unfamiliar with local conditions. Nehru objected to this "communal chauvinism" and
called them "incompetent outsiders", and tried to impose Hyderabadi residency
requirements: however, this was circumvented by using forged documents.
Prior to the operation
In the 1936
37 Indian elections, the Muslim League under Muhammad Ali Jinnah
had sought to harness Muslim aspirations, and had won the adherence of MIM leader
Nawab Bahadur Yar Jung, who campaigned for an Islamic State centred on the Nizam
as the Sultan dismissing all claims for democracy. The Arya Samaj, a Hindu revivalist
movement, had been demanding greater access to power for the Hindu majority since
the late 1930s, and was curbed by the Nizam in 1938. The Hyderabad State Congress
joined forces with the Arya Samaj as well as the Hindu Mahasabha in the State.
Noorani regards the MIM under Nawab Bahadur Yar Jung as explicitly committed
to safeguarding the rights of religious and linguistic minorities. However, this changed
with the ascent of Qasim Razvi after the Nawab's death in 1944.
Even as India and Hyderabad negotiated, most of the sub-continent had been
thrown into chaos as a result of communal Hindu-Muslim riots pending the imminent
partition of India. Fearing a Hindu civil uprising in his own kingdom, the Nizam allowed
Razvi to set up a voluntary militia of Muslims called the 'Razakars'. The Razakars
numbered up to 200,000 at the height of the conflict
swore to uphold Islamic
domination in Hyderabad and the Deccan plateau:8 in the face of growing public
opinion amongst the majority Hindu population favouring the accession of Hyderabad
into the Indian Union.
According to an account by Mohammed Hyder, a civil servant in Osmanabad
district, a variety of armed militant groups, including Razakars and Deendars and ethnic
militias of Pathans and Arabs claimed to be defending the Islamic faith and made claims
on the land. "From the beginning of 1948 the Razakars had extended their activities
from Hyderabad city into the towns and rural areas, murdering Hindus, abducting
women, pillaging houses and fields, and looting non-Muslim property in a widespread
reign of terror." "Some women became victims of rape and kidnapping by Razakars.
Thousands went to jail and braved the cruelties perpetuated by the oppressive
administration. Due to the activities of the Razakars, thousands of Hindus had to flee
he state and take shelter in various camps‖. An official count by the Government
is hard to come by. This led to terrorizing of the Hindu community, some of whom went
across the border into independent India and organized raids into Nizam's territory,
which further escalated the violence. Many of these raiders were controlled by the
Congress leadership in India and had links with extremist religious elements in the
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Hindutva fold. In all, more than 150 villages (of which 70 were in Indian territory outside
Hyderabad State) were pushed into violence.
Hyder mediated some efforts to minimize the influence of the Razakars. Razvi,
while generally receptive, vetoed the option of disarming them, saying that with the
Hyderabad state army ineffective, the Razakars were the only means of self-defence
available. By the end of August 1948, a full blown invasion by India was imminent.
Nehru was reluctant to invade, fearing a military response by Pakistan. India was
unaware that Pakistan had no plans to use arms in Hyderabad, unlike Kashmir where it
had admitted its troops were present. Time magazine pointed out that if India invaded
Hyderabad, the Razakars would massacre Hindus, which would lead to retaliatory
massacres of Muslims across India.
During and after the operation
Districts of Hyderabad State
Administratively, Hyderabad State was made up of sixteen districts, grouped into
Aurangabad Division included Aurangabad, Beed, Nanded, and Parbhani
Gulbarga Division included Bidar District, Gulbarga, Osmanabad, and Raichur
Gulshanabad Division or Medak Division included Atraf-i-Baldah (Hyderabad),
Mahbubnagar district, Medak district, Nalgonda district (Nalgundah), and
Nizamabad districts, and
Warangal Division included Adilabad, Karimnagar, and Warangal districts
(present Khammam district was part of warangal district).
After the incorporation of Hyderabad State into India, M. K. Vellodi was appointed
as Chief Minister of the state on 26 January 1950. He was a Senior Civil servant in the
Government of India. He administered the state with the help of bureaucrats from
Madras state and Bombay state.
In the 1952 Legislative Assembly election, Dr. Burgula Ramakrishna Rao was
elected Chief minister of Hyderabad State. During this time there were violent agitations
by some Telanganites to send back bureaucrats from Madras state, and to strictly
implement 'Mulki-rules'(Local jobs for locals only), which was part of Hyderabad state
law since 1919.
Chief Ministers of Hyderabad State
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Hyderabad State included nine Telugu districts of Telangana, four Kannada
districts in Gulbarga division and four Marathi districts in Aurangabad division.
Term of office
s in office
M. K. Vellodi
Hyderabad State had its last Nizam, HEH Mir Osman Ali Khan (b. 1886 -d. 1967)
as Rajpramukh from 26 January 1950 to 31 October 1956.
In 1956 during the Reorganisation of the Indian States based along linguistic
lines, the state of Hyderabad was split up among Andhra Pradesh, Bombay state (later
divided into states of Maharashtra and Gujarat in 1960 with the original portions of
Hyderabad becoming part of the state of Maharashtra) and Karnataka.
In December 1953, the States Reorganisation Commission was appointed to
prepare for the creation of states on linguistic lines. The commission, due to public
demand, recommended disintegration of Hyderabad state and to merge Marathi
speaking region, Maratwada, with Bombay state and Kannada speaking region with
Mysore state. The Telugu speaking Telangana region of Hyderabad state with Andhra
Andhra state and Telangana were merged to form Andhra Pradesh state on 1
November 1956 after providing safeguards to Telangana in the form of Gentlemen's
agreement (though recently on 2 June 2014, Telangana was separated from Andhra
Pradesh as a new 29th state of India, with Hyderabad as its capital.) Gulshanabad
Division or Medak Division and Warangal Division were considered as area of
Hyderabad's Telangana. However, when Hyderabad was merged in Andhra Pradesh
Penganga/Wardha/Pranahita rivers) was transferred to Maharashtra state.(refer
Hyderabad state map) And later on 2014, the state of Telangana was formed splitting
from the rest of Andhra Pradesh region.
Hyderabad Civil Service
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