Burhan-ud-Din of Chitral

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This article is about Prince Burhan-ud-Din of Chitral. For other persons with a similar name, see Burhan al-Din (disambiguation).
Burhan-ud-Din
BurhanUDdin.jpg
Born 1915
Chitral
Died 1996
Alma mater Prince of Wales Royal Indian Military College
Occupation Veteran of the Indian National Army, Senator Pakistan
Religion Islam

Prince Burhan-ud-Din (1915 - 1996) (Urdu: برھان الدین‎) of Chitral, Pakistan was a veteran of the Indian National Army. Burhan-ud-Din was the son of Mehtar Shuja ul-Mulk, the Ruler of Chitral.[1] He was educated at the Prince of Wales Royal Indian Military College in India.[2] He was by far the most famous Chitrali as a result of his service in the Indian National Army under Subhas Chandra Bose during World War II.

World War II[edit]

In 1944, Burhan-ud-Din was one of three IOC's of the Indian National Army. The Indian National Army was formed from Indian soldiers who were fighting for the British against the Japanese. They were captured by the Japanese and taken to Singapore. They were given a choice: Join the workers who were building the Death Railway including The Bridge on the River Kwai, or take up arms and fight against the British on the side of the Japanese. Prince Burhan-ud-Din became one of the commanders of the group who opted not to build the Bridge Over the River Kwai.[3]

When Rangoon fell to the British on 3 May 1945, Prince Burhan-ud-Din was captured the same day and placed under arrest. He was charged with a wartime atrocity. Many men under his command had often left their posts to go into Rangoon in search of women, often not to return for several days. Prince Burhan-ud-Din, a deeply religious man, was offended by this practice, so he had five of his soldiers rounded up in Rangoon, brought back, and flogged as deserters. One of them, whose name was Joga Singh, died during the flogging. When the British captured the Indian National Army they were naturally anxious to put some of their leaders on trial. Prince Burhan-ud-Din was tried, convicted and sentenced to seven years in prison in 1946. Three other members of the Indian National Army were also convicted but they received lesser sentences.

Death[edit]

In 1947 when Pakistan got its independence from Britain, Burhan-ud-Din and the others were let out of jail and he became a national hero. The circumstances of his death in 1996 are controversial. There is no agreement whether the gunshot wound which killed him in 1996 was an accident, self-inflicted or if somebody shot him.

New developments[edit]

The grandson of Prince Burhan-ud-Din has won a suit before the Supreme Court of Pakistan and ordered hundreds of villagers to vacate a village in Chitral. The dispute over the land of Seen village between its residents and Shahzada Burhan-ud-Din has been heard in various courts of law for the last thirty seven years and the apex courts has given its verdict in favour of the latter. [4]

References[edit]