1947 Amritsar train massacre

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1947 Amritsar train massacre
Partition of Punjab, India 1947.jpg
Muslim refugees boarding a train in September 1947, similar to those involved in the massacre, with the intent of fleeing India.
DateSeptember 22nd 1947
Attack type

The 1947 Amritsar train massacre was an attack on Indian refugees. It killed 3000 Muslims and wounded a further 1000.[1]

This massacre is one of many on trains carrying refugees that happened during the 1947 India-Pakistan Partition, which saw the transport of around 4 million refugees.[2]


On Monday September 22, 1947, a train was leaving 30 miles east from Amritsar and was attacked by Sikhs. This attack was stopped. However, when the same train arrived at Amritsar, it was faced with crowds of armed Sikh people who opened fire on it from both sides of the track.[1]

Trains carrying Sikh troops did pass by during the massacre, but they did not intervene. Only a few troop trains were left by Sikhs to join the massacre. [1]

It is unknown who the escorts of the train were, but many believe it to be Hindu Jats. These escorts were ordered by British officers to fire, but going against such orders, instead fired over the attacker's heads. [1]

The officer of the train was left alone to fend for the passengers. He reportedly shot back at the raiders with a machine gun he possessed until it ran out of ammo. He was killed soon after losing such ammo. It has been reported that he was killed by his own men.[1]

Men, women and children were attacked by Sikhs who swept through the train. The weapons used by Sikhs during this attack included swords and spears. This slaughter lasted for approximately three hours.[1]

On Tuesday September 23rd 1947, the train involved in the attack was returned to its platform.[1]


The West Punjab Government announced other attacks that happened during the 1947 India-Pakistan Partition. This included the attack of a refugee train in Kamoke by Sikh-Hindus around 25 miles west of Lahore on Wednesday September 24th 1947. This attack was responsible for a further 340 deaths of both Sikhs and Hindus and wounded a further 250.[1]

Meetings within the Indian Cabinet to stop further attacks were called on Thursday the 25th as reported by the Associated Press of Great Britain. Military spokesmen reported on the mounting tensions in the Punjab and the serious attacks on refugee trains and convoys.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "3000 Dead in Indian Train Massacre - Australian Associated Press New Delhi, September 25th".
  2. ^ "70 years later, survivors recall the horrors of India-Pakistan partition".