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Full text of "THe_I_N_A_Heroes"

THE I N. A. HEROES 



Autobiographies 

OF 

Maj. Gen. Shahnawaz 

Col. Prem K. Sahgal 

Col. Gurbax Singh Dhillon 

OF 
THE AZAD HIND FAUJ 



Were they " puppets " or men of strong 
determination prepare^ to lay down 
their lives for the honou^ and safety of 
their motherland has bean laid 
the pages of this book by the 
their own pens. 



1946 



6, LOWER MALL, LAHORE. 



Just Published 

NETAJI SPEAKS 

TO THE NATION 

A symposium of Important speeches an 
writings of Netaji Suhhas Chandra Bose, (1928-45 
His broadcasts, addresses, orders of the day fro 
Berlin, Tokyo, Rangoon. Syonan and Burma wit 
proper introductions surveying the history of tl 
period when they were delivered or written. 

The Book provides an insight into the re 
played by Subhas Chandra Bose in the Indij 
struggle for Independence. 

Introductory notes and arrangement by : 
THE AUTHOR OF THE REBEL PRESIDEN 
Price 6/14 Post free 

Publishers 

HERO PUBLICATIONS 

6, LOWER MALL, LAHORE. 



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To 

All those brave sons and daughters of India 

who -fought the battle of India's freedom, 

far away from their country and continued 

their epic march to Delhi in the face of the 

greatest mechanised power of the world. 



JAI-JA-HO 
(National Anthem of the Azad Hind Fauj.) 

Sabh sukh chain ki barkha barse Bharat bhag hai jiga, 
Punjab Sindh Guirat Maratha Dravid Utkal Banga. 
Chanchal Sagar Bind Hiaiy 

Teije nit g^n gae, 
VTujh se JeSwan pate,* 
Sabh tan pae asha ; 

Suraj ban kar jag par chatnke Bharat nam subhaga, 

Jai-ya ho, Jai-ya ho, Jai-ya ho, 

Jai-ya Jai-ya Jai-ya Jai-ya ho. 
Sab ke dil men prit basae ten mithi bani, 
Har sube ke rahnewale bar mazhab ke prani 

Sab bhed aur farak mita ke 

Sab god men ten ake, * 

Goonden prem ki mala ; 

Suraj ban kar jag men chamke Bharat nam subhaga 

Jai-ya ho. Jai-ya ho, Jai-ya ho, 
Jai-ya Jai-ya Jai-ya Jai-ya ho 

Subha savere pankh pakheru tere hi gun gain 
Bas bhari bharpoor havaen jeewan me rut laen, 

Sab mil kar Hind Pukare, 
Jai Azad Hind ke nahre 
Piara desh hamara. 

Suraj ban kar jag par chamke Bharat nam subhaga. 

Jai-ya ho, Jai-ya ho, Jai-ya ho 
Jai-ya, Jai-ya, Jai-ya Jai-ya ho f 
Bharat nam subhaga. 

Inqaldb Zindabad Azad Hind Zindabad 



PREFACE 

The trial Of the three I N. A, Officers has caused 
great e*dtement in the country* It has been revealed 
to the common man for the fitst time that tte 
foreign rate in India is not all powerful and eternal 
The gallant deads of the men and officers of the Azad 
HmdFatijin the battlefields of Burma and Malaya 
and on the Atakan Front have set a new precedent 
before the country and the desire to shake oft the 
foreign domination has become greater in the Indian 
ftiind than at any other time in the history of the 
British connections ift India. 

The personality of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bosfc 
&nd the achievements of the Indian National Army 
have inspired new hopes in the rank and file of the 
Indian massed Major General Shahftawaz, Colonel 
Prem K. Sahgal and Colonel Gurbax Singh Dhilkm 
have become the torch*beater$ of Indians fight for 
freeddm and the real heroes of the people, 

What role 'Aid they pky in the formation an<J 
growth of the Indian National Army ; how the first 
I. N, A. was formed and dissolved ; haw did Netaji 
come to have the supreme command of the Azad 
Hind Fattj ; ^hat were tb$ rektifcte irf t&e Indian 
National Anby with the Nif4>oaee Fonrps; ;were they 
* 4 puppets" 0r men of strong determination prepared to 

down tlieir Bves If or tlbe liohoJUr aiid safety 



* ii 

motherland has been laid down in the pages of this 
book. 

They fought the war of India's liberation beyonl 
the Far Eastern frontiers of India but unfortunately 
failed. Had they been successful* they would have 
been regarded as the greatest victors of all the times. 
And now tjiat they have failed they are being treats i 
as ordinary criminals, traitors, and rebels in the 
British courts. But what is going to be the final 
verdict of history we all shall have to wait and 
see. 

Being an enterprising publisher it has always been 
my endeavour to present books on current political 
problems but the present volume is inspired by alto- 
gether ,a different reason. A retired judge of ths 
Lahore High Court in the course of his talk with me 
remarked : 

44 I do not form judgments easily about men but 
my judgment about these boys is that they 
are above average in intellect and far 
above average in character. To save these 
officers to my mind is to save nationalism in 
India/ 1 

Since then my desire to collect more facts about 
them and publish them in book form became almost 
irresistabk, Hence the present publication. 



iii 

These autobiographies it must be mentioned were 
written not for the purpose of publication. They cannot, 
therefore be a complete and comprehensive record of 
their adventures. The real es&austive story of the 
brave sons and daughters of India who shed their 
blood smilingly in the mountains and jungles of Burma 
and Malaya and on the battlefield of ImphaL and 
Kohima and continued their epic March to Delhi in the 
face of the greatest mechanised power of the world 
will be recorded only when India is a free country and 
when the rebels of to-day will be the real rulers of the 
land. The present volume is only a short though 
Ppignant and illuminating account of their activities. 



I4 jai HiacT 



L \HOKB : 

March, 1946. 



DURLAB SINGH 



41 To my countrymen " I say' Forget not that 
the greatest curse for a man is to remain a slave. 
Forget not that the grossest crime is to compromise 
with injustice and wrong. Remember the eternal 
law you must give, if you want to get it. And 
remember that the highest virtue is to battle against 
iniquity, no matter what the cost may be* 

" In this mortal world, everything perishes and 
will perish but ideas, ideals and dreams do not. 
One individual may die for an idea but that idea 
will, after his death, incarnate itself in a thousand 
lives." Subhas Chandra Bose 

For the real message of J^etajfs Life please book 
your orders at once for : 

NETAJI SPEAKS 
TO THE NATION 

A collection of his important speeches and 
writings from the early days of the youth move- 
ment in India till he hid his last forewell to his 
officers and soldiers in Burma in the middle of 1945 
Price 6/14/~ 

Publishers : 

HERO PUBLICATION 
i 6 Lower Mall, Lahore 



CONTENTS 

I Major General Shahnawat - 

1. Life story ... . . . 1 

2. My reactions and reasons for joining 

the I. N. A. . : ... 13 

3. Sepoy Mohd Hussain's case ... 50* 

4. Surrender ... ... 57 

5. Statement in the court ..'. ... 60> 
n Col : P. K. Sahgal 

1. Life story ... ... 85 

2. Reasons for joining the 

I. N. A. ... ... 106- 

3. The trial and execution of 

men of No. 4 Grla. Regi- 
ment ... ... 121 

4. Letter of Surrender ... ... 126 

5. Statement in the court ... ... 127 

III Col : G. S. Dhillon 

1. Life story ... ... 143* 

2. Outlines of my Life in the 

I.N.A. * 164 

3. Why I joined the I. N. A. 

Different stages of mind ... ... 167 

4. Collection of clothing from 

the Separated Personnel ... ... 172 

5. Statement in the court ... ... 175 

Proclamation of the Azad Hind Gov- 
ernment ... ... 185- 



P Defence story 

v? I. Shahnawaz Khan 

la Nominal Roll of Defence 

re witnesses 193 

in II, P,K.Sahgal 

Nominal Roll of 

Defence witnesses 221 

** III. G.S.Dhillon 

J Nominal RoU of 

** Defence witnesses, 257 

lii 



JOI 



me 



Pu\ 



I 

MAJOR-GENERAL SHAHNAWAZ 

AZAD HIND FAUJ 

(1) 

LIFE STORY 
Early History 

I was born in a Janjua-Rajput family in 
Rawalpindi district in January 1914. My father Latfe 
Lt. Tikka Khan served with distinction in 58th F. F. 
Rifles tor 30 years, and was the "head of perhaps 
"The most militarized" family in India. During the 
last Great World War (191418) and the recent Great 
World War (193945), every able-bodied member 
of my family joined the army, and at least 60 of them 
are at present serving as King's and Viceroy's Commis- 
sioned Officers ; in addition to these several others 
have been either killed or wounded in the recent 
war. 

Education 

(a) My father died in 1923, and I was brought up 
under the guardianship of my Grand Uncle K. S. 
Risaldar Nur Khan, another distinguished soldier, and 
received my primary education in my village 
Matore. 

(fc) In 19261 was admitted to the Prince of 
Wales's Royal Indian Military College, Dehra Dun, and 
qualified in a competitive examination for the Indian 
Military Academy in June 1932, On passing out of 



2 LN. A. HEROES 

R. I. M. C. I was awarded the undermentioned scholar- 
ships for being the beat Cadet : 

(0 Sir Partab Singh Memorial Prize. 

(it) King Emperors Cadetsfaip. 
Army Service 

I passed out of the I. M. A. in December 1935, as 
an under officer. 

I was Commissioned in Feb. 1936 and posted for 
>one year to 1st Bn. u The Royal Norfolk Regt." 
at Jhansi. 

In Feb. 1937, 1 was posted to 1st Bn. 14th Punjab 
Regt. at Jhelum and shortly afterwards proceeded 
on active service in Waziristan (1937-38). 

In 1939, 1 was transferred to our training Battalion 
. at Ferozepore, where I was a Company Command- 
er, when my active Battalion went overseas to Malaya 
in March 1941. In December 1941, realizing that 
war with the Japanese -would break out shortly, 
my Commanding Officer especially wrote to the 
G. H. Q. India and asked for me to be sent out to 
join the Battalion in Malaya. * 

Twice his requests were turned down, because 
my services could not be soared from the Training 
^Centre. Eventually on his demand that ** it was im- 
perative in the interest of the Bn. that I should be sent 
out," I was ordered to proceed overseas to join the 
Bn. I left Ferozepore in mid January, and arrived in 
.Singapore on 29th January 1942. 

Malayan Campaign 

I jomcd my Battalion at the Naval Base in 
Siatatxnre on nitfht 30/31st January and was put in 



MAJOR-GENERAL SHAHJSTAWAZ 

command of a Company and allotted the task of 
defending the Naval Base. 

I continued to do this until 10th February 1942 
when the Japanese having landed on Australian front 
pushed inland and threatened to encircle us. 

On night 10/llth February, I was ordered to with- 
draw with my Battalion to Biddadari to which 
position I held on after troops on my right and left 
flanks had run away on 15th Feb. including the British 
officers. 

On 15th February, I received orders to surren der. 

Surrender in Singapore. 

On the day following the surrender, all Indians 
including King's Commissioned Officers, were ordered 
to assemble at the Farrer Park for being handed 
over to the Japs. (This was a departure from the nor- 
mal procedure, as all officers are kept separate from 
the rank and fileX On 16th February, we. were offi- 
cially handed over by the British representative, Col. 
Hunt, to the Japanese representative, Major Fujiwara, 
who in turn handed us over to Capt; Mohan Singh, an 
officer of my own Battalian. Faujiwara's words were: 
"I hereby hand you over toG.CXC. Capt. Mohan ingh, 
who shall have the power of life and death over you." 

To guard against being exploited by the Japanese 
and actuated by a traditional sense of loyalty 
and gratitude to the king I atonce set about 
creating active propaganda 3&a^ni&t the formation 
of an I N. A. inspite of the {act that I bad ^ 
feeling oj being deserted and frustration. , . 

'Certain -paigea had to be xemovad from *fe* book a* pei 
instruction* from Major General Shahaawaz. The reader should 
not be puzstfcd tbei^f bfe to see the marking of pages in this 
at certain places. 



56 L-K. A. IfeROES 

On Feb. 17, 1S42, 1 along with 22,000 P. CX W. 
was sent to Neesoon Camp, where I organised .a 
block of officers to resist the L N. A. 

In March 1942, I was appointed Commander of 
Neesoon Camp, where I continued my obstructionist 
activities. 

Return to Singapore and Crisis in the I,M.A, 

In Nov. 1942, the O. T, S, was disbanded by order 
of Capt. Mohan Singh, and a crisis arose between him 
and the Japs. 

In December, Motian Singh was aVrestefl and 
taken away and a fresh drive was made by , Mtt &< B, 
Base, to reconcile the officers, and men of the I, f$? A; 
with a view to inducing them to remain in the 
1. N. A. 

At a final meeting held at Biddadari in February, 

1942, Gen. Iwakuro declared that all members of the 

* 

I, N, A* were bound by the Bangkok resolution to 
continue serving in the LN,A* and that Mohan Singh 
had no authority to disband the I, N, A, 

Finally he declared that any one attempting ta 
disorganize the LN,A. would be treated as.a routineer 
and the Japs army would give aH such aid as the 
President of the Council of Actiem demanded, to 
restore order in the 1. N. A, This waf a y'ety oitic^f 
time, the Japs were out to tfarcb a few ring4ead*r 
and execute them, with ebe intention of terrorizing; 
others tt* continue m die L N^ A, All senior eiCJcer* 
realized this ar>d topk the pf eciutioo of keeping well ir* 
the background, Icpnld m>t stani thif amf 
4p*m. Kn^^toiflppdeWm admit 
no iut^aipa ; ^ -%tm us to 




MAJOR-GENERAL SHAHNAWAZ 7 

3vement, as in a " holy movement " for securing 
dia's Independence there was no place for deceit 
d coercion. He agreed and every one was allowed, 
free choice of either continuing in the I. N. A. 

ir going out of it. 

* 

Personally I wished to get out of the I. N. A., 
ut at this conference and the following day at ai 
leeting at his Bungalow with Gen. Iwakuro, I had 
Committed myself too far and could not retrace my 
|teps f and sq joined the Second I. N. A. in February 
JL943, as Chief of General Staff to the B. M. B. At this 
fjfcitne my main objects were : 

(a) To see that the mistakes made in the pre- 
vious I. N. A., t.e., concentration camps 
etc. were not repeated. 

(fc) That every one was given a free chance of. 

leaving the I. N. A. or joining it voluntarily 

fully realizing the consequences of doing so,. 

especially the fact that they would have to 

,. fight against great odds and possibly against 

first the British and then the Japs. 
In May/June 1943, 1 went on a tour of mainland 
>n Malaya to make arrangements for any such men. 
/ho wished to join the I. N. A. to come down to< 
Singapore. 

In 'July 1943, Netaji S. C. Bose arrived in Singa- 
pore and in the following month took over direct 
command of the I. N. A. and at a conference held 
at his H; Q. it was ecided to raise a "Crack 
Regt."' which was to go into acftfon^ fiJWf and 
depending on its achievement the rest of the I. N. A. 



8 1. N. A. HEROES 

was to be employed. 

Netaji's speech had a profound effect on me 
and entirely changed my whole outlpok, and I took 
the greatest and hardest decision of my life That of 
fighting my own kith and kin, whom I was certain I 
could never induce to join me. 

At the back of my mind was also a sense of tradi- 
tional loyalty and gratitude to H. M. the King, and 
the oath of allegiance which I owed to him. 

But when I pondered deeply over it, I decided 
that either it was a question of be loyal to the 
King or my country and I decided to being loyal to the 
country and in the actual fight in 1944, 1 fought against 
my younger brother who was wounded and against my 
cousin .almost daily for two months. 

In October 1943, on declaration of the Provi- 
sional Government I was appointed a Minister. 

Raising and Activities of " Subhas Bde." 

In September 1943, No. I GuerillaR egt. was raised 
at Taiping and I was appointed to command it. 

After a period of short, but intensive, training 
the Regt. left for the front in November and arrived 
in Rangoon in January 1944. 0n 4th February 1944, 
the Regt. left Rangoon for the front. Prior to 
departure, Netaji addressed the Regt. and told every 
one of the greatest responsibility that rested on their 
shoulders and the hardships that awaited them. He 
also gave a chance to any one unwilling to go to the 



MAJOR-GENERAL SHAHNAWAZ 9 

front td stay behind in Rangoon and some officers 
and men were left behind. 

The Regiment was split up for operations as 
under: No. 1 Bn. went for operations on the 
Arakan front in the Kaladan Valley, under command 
of Major P. S. Raturi (I. A. Cant. 5/18, Ghar^al 
Rilfe) No. 2 and 3 Bns. under command of Lt.-Col. 
Shahnawaz Khan on Haka-Falam front and later 
on Kohima front. 

On receipt of orders from the Supreme Comman- 
der of the "Azad Hind Fauj" the Regt. started 
withdrawing in June 1942, and arrived at Budalin 
in September 1944, having lost more than 50 per cent, 
of its men. 

In October 1944, I went to meet Netaji at 
Mandalay, and then went with him to Rangoon, to 
Attend certain meetings of the Cabinet. 

In December 1944, 1 was ordered to return to 
Mandalay to help in the evacuation of No. 1 Dn. and 
two hospitals to Pyinmana. There bing practically 
no transport facilities other than* hired bullock carts. 
The evacuation was completed in January 1945, and I 
was appointed Offg. Commander No. 1 Dn. at 
Pyinmana. 

In February 1945, Netaji S. C. Bose came to 
Pyinmana and told me that owing to injury received 
in an sir bombardment, Col. Aiz Ahmad, Comd. 
No. 2 Dn., would be unable to command No. 2 
Da. He therefore ordered me to accompany him to 



10 L N. A. HEROES 

Kyauk-Padaung and Popa on a tour of front line 
troops, and take over command of No. 2 Dn, 

On 20th February we arrived at Meiktila, and 
found that No. 4 Regt. had been heavily engaged at 
Nyavngu and Pagan and had fallen back on Kyauk- 
Padaung and returned to Meiktila on:24th February 
1945, to repoit the situation. 

At this the British mechanized forces were closing 
in on us and by great deal of persuasion. I managed to 
induce Netaji to come away from Meiktila. At this 
time the enemy tanks were only 8 miles from 
us. 

We arrived at Pyinmana on 26th Feb. 1945, and 
Netaji decided that with the remnants :>f No. 1 Dn. 
he was going to put a fight to the last at Pyinmana. 
He asked me to take command of this force. He 
said he was determined to stay there and fight 
himself. 

The British forces were, however, halted at 
Meiktila and Netaji returned to Rangoon, early in 
March. 

On 7th March 1945, 1 bade my last farewell to him 
and left for Popa to take over command of No. 2 
Dn. where the situation had become very grave. 

I arrive i there on 12th March, and in accordance 
with my previous orders I found the Dn. engaged 
in fighting against the enemy. 

On this front No. 2 Dn. was fighting against 
most overwhelming odds"; where the enemy forces 
were supported by numerous tanks, aeroplanes and 
artillery, we had none of these weapons. But 



MAJOR-GENERAL SHAHNAWAZ 11 

in spite of these drawbacks we held our own against 
them. In these operations No. 2 Regt. under com- 
mand of Col. P. K. Sahgal and No. 4 Regt. under 
command of Col. G. S. Dhillon distinguished 
themselves. 

Another off^r who deserves a special mention 
was Capt. Bagri, who commanded a Batallion in No. 2 
Regt. and who, in every action, fought like a^lion, and 
finally laid down his life at the altar of his mother- 
fend, always to be revered by his comrades 'as a 
"Shaheed-i-Bharat." 

On 12th April 1945, 1 received orders to with- 
draw 2nd Dn. to Mag we. During the withdrawal 
No. 2 Regt. was overtaken by enemy in the vicinity 
of Prome and had to surrender. On 19th April 1945, 
No. 4 Regt. with Dn. H. Q. arrived at Magwe and 
joined No. 1 Regt. which had been there since March 
1945. 

Next day, we were forced by enemy mechanized; 
columns to withdraw to Prome, and on arrival there 
we found that the British forces were already there, 
we broke through and continued our withdrawal 
to Moulmein where we had received orders to 
assemble. 

Early in May I arrived with the remnants of 2 Diu 
at Taikyi 30 miles North, of Rangoon and found 
that Rangoon had been occupied by the British ; an- 
other British column had occupied Pegu, and blocked 
our retreat to Moulmein. I then, on finding my- 
self encircled from all sides, entered Peguuomas to 



12 I. N. A. HEROES 

continue the fight. But eventually with the last party 
of 45 men I was captured on 16th May 1945. 
My ambition has always been : 

(a) To show to the world that when it comes to 
the question of making supreme sacrifices for 
the liberation of our motherland, the Mus- 
lims would in no way lag behind any one else. 

(6) That given an opportunity, the most privileg- 
ed and politically backwark classes, are 
willing to make supreme sacrifices for the 
liberation of their motherland. 



(2) 

MY REACTIONS AND REASONS 
FOR JOINING THB I. N. A. 

Brief background of the environments in which I 
was brought up. 

I was born in a family of Janjua^Rajputs in 
Rawalpindi. My father was the leader of our clan in 
the district. He sarved in the I. A. for 30 years. My 
grandfather was also the Chief of the tribe and was 
granted a large tract of land in Montgomery District 
for his services in the last war. In the last war 
(191418) and in the recent world war (1939 45) 
every able-bodied member of my family joined the 
army. At present there are 62 of them serving as 
officers in the Indian Army. 

In short I belong to a so-called privileged family, 
in which loyalty to the Crown was a valued tradition. 

On the death of my father, my mother and the 
rest of the family were granted a pension by the Gov- 
ernment. 

I was educated at the Prince of Wales s Royal Mili- 
tary College, Dehra Dun, where half of my expenses 
were borne by the Government. 

In 1933 I passed out into the Indian Military Aca- 
demy, and received the undermentioned scholar* 
ships : 

1. King Emperor's Cadetship. 

2. Six Pratab Singh memorial prize, for being the 
best Cadet *t*4f or belonging to a family hav- 
ing the beat military services. 

13 



14 L N. A. HEROES 

I passed cut in 1935 api was posted to a British 
Battalion (or one year and later to l/l4th Punjab 
Regt. in Feb. 1937. 

In short I was bought up in an atmosphere which 
was purely military and up to the time of my meeting 
with Netaji S. C. Bose at Singapore in July 1943, 1 was 
.politically almost uneducated. I was brought up to 
-see India, through the eyes of a British Officer, and 
all that I was interested in was soldiering and sport. 

When in January 1942 I was called to Singapore, 
to rejoin my Battalion which had been in action 
in Malaya, I was determined to go there and put 
up a good show in the fighting and to uphold the mar- 
tial traditions of my family. 

I arrived very late in Singapore, January 29th, 1942, 
when the situation had become very critical, but in 
:spite of this I was determined to put up a brave fight. 

In the battle of Singapore on the 13th, 14th and 15th 
February 1942, when most of the British Offiters had 
disappeared with their units, from my right and left 
flanks, I held on to my position until ordered to sur- 
render by my Commanding Officer. 

I resented this order, especially when I felt 
that I had not been given a fair chance to fight the 
enemy, and to have brought me to Singapore so late in 
the fight, only to be ordered to lay down my arms, was 
I considered a crime and an injustice to my honour as 
a soldier to lay down my arms and surrender. 

Surrender and Concentration of the Farrer Park 

On the night of the surrender 15/16th February 
1942, we received orders that all Indians, including 



MAJOR-GENERAL SHAHNAWAZ 15 

the King's Commissioned Officers, were to concen- 
trate at Fairer Park. All British Officers and other 
ranks were to concentrate at Cbangi. 

All of us, especially the officers, were surprised 
to hear this order, because according to the laws 
of warfare, all captured off icers whether Indian or 
British are kept together and separate from the rank 
and file. 

We had hgard of the Japanese methods and 
atrocities before, and felt that the British brother 
officers were leaving us in the lurch, to face it all by 
ourselves. 

On the morning of 16th February 1945, when we 
were marching oft to our concentratibn area, our 
Commanding Officer Major Mac Adam, along with 
other British officers, came to sse off the Bn. While 
shaking hands with me, he said, '1 suppose, this is the 
parting of our ways. M At the time I did not under- 
stand the full significance of this, as I had no idea 
of Japanese intentions, whereas he must have known 
about it when he said so. But he did not tell any 
of us what to expect, or any advice as to which 
course we were to follow. His last words confirmed 
my feeling of "being left in the lurch." This was the 
ieeling and the state of mind in which I went to the 
assembly area at the Farrer Pack. 

Handing ov&r ceremony. 

+ 

At the Farrer Park we were handed over to the 
Commander of Jap. Int. Department, Major Fujiwara, 
by Col. Hunt, the representative of the British 



16 L N. A. HEROES 

Government. Wfien handing- over. Col. Hunt called! 
the parade to attention and said : 

"To-day, I, on behalf of the British Govern- 
ment, hand you over to the Japanese Govern- 
ment as Prisoners of War." 

After this he handed over the nominal rolls- 
of all prisoners of war to the Jap representative. 
Major Fujiwara, (there were approx. 42,000 
P.O.W. there), then again brought the parade to 
attention and said : 

"On bahalf of the Jap Government, I take 
you over under my charge." He then went 
on to say that "I on behalf of the Jap 
Government now hand you over to Capt. 
Motan Singh, G. O. C., Indian National 
Army, who shall have the power of life and 
death over you." 

After this Col. Hunt departed. After this Major 
Fujiwara first made a speech, in which he declared that 
we would not be treated as prisoners, but as brothers 
by the Japs and expressed a hope that all of us 
would join the I. N. A. which was being raised to 
fight for India's freedom under the leadership of 
G. O. C.l Capt. Mohan Singh. 

After this Capt. Mohan Singh came on the stage 
and delivered a similar speech. 

Th* speeches came as complete bombshell to us. 
The very idea of joining hands with our former 
enemies and to tight against our own kith and kin was 
fantastic. 

I, as well as most of the officers, had a feeling 
of being completely helpless, at being handed over 



' MAJOR-GENERAL SHAHNAWAZ 17 

like cattle by the British to the Japs and by, the 
Japs to Capt. Mohan Singh whom they gave powers 
of life and death over us. 

I was fully convinced that we would be 
44 exploited " by the Japs, purely for their own nds. 
I, therefore, firmly, made up my mind notto have any- 
thing to do with such an I. N. A. and in spite of the 
feeling of frustration and helplessness the element of 
traditional loyalty to the King triumphed and not only 
did I make up my own mind to keep out of the 
I. N. A., but as the head of famous Military tribe, 
I felt it my duty to warn all others especially the 
m 2n I commanded and the men of my area .to keep 
out of it. 

The sort of remarks, I made on the occasion 
were : " If any one asks you to shoot at your oWn 
brothers, turn round and shoot him first/ 

There were many King's Commissioned. Officers 
whom I knew v well before* the war. All of us got 
togethefr- and, decided to keep out of the I,N*A, 

Hi this fianje .o^ qiind we marched off, the next 
day, t6 'dur< camp in Neesoon. On arrival there I 
continued to persist in my idea and kept on address- 
ing every one- who, came to me for advice, to keep 
out of it. After a few days I got the command of 
Neesoon Camp. There were approx, 20,000 P. Q. Ws. 

The first thing I did was f fo organise a bloc of 
officers, approx, 30 in number to resist the I. N. A. 
These officers wer e mainly Muslims and the inten- 
tion was to keep the bulk of Muslim rank and file 
out df tiie 



I. N. A, HEROES 

I commanded the camp from March to June 
1942, during which period my only concern was how 
could I improve the unfortunate lot of the men under 
my command* 

Early in April Major Mahabir Singh Dhillon 
came to Neesoon and delivered a lecture to appro*, 
500 N. C, O's in that camp. He said : ** I have very 
pleasant news for you : The Japanese have landed 
at Madras/' After this he gave some other world 
new* and his review on them* After had 
finished I got up and spoke to the N. C. Os and said, 
" The news given out by Major Dhillon is far from 
pleasant, in fact it is shocking. It is a pity that at the 
time when the sacred soil of our motherland was 
being trodden down below the dirty feet of the 
Aggressor (Japan) we were prisoners in Singapore 
and could do nothing to protect India's honour/* This 
was meant to counter the effect of Major Dhillon's 
lecture. Later I learnt that the news of Japanese 
landing on Madras was falsa and informed all concer- 
ned. 

Again at the end of April 1942, when Col. Gill 
was going to Bangkok, I collected all the officers at 
his bungalow to bid him farewell. 

At that meeting I accused him of patting us all 
in a difficult situation by making us accept Biddadari 
resolutions etc. and at the time when we needed his 
guidance and leadership most, he was deserting us. 

In reply to me he said he was being pu%ed out of 
i^^ 

THii was the trend of my mind at the time. 



MAJOR-GENERAL SHAHNAWAZ 27 

Stay at Kuala-Lumpur June-Sept. 2942 
I arrived at Kuala-Lumpur by a goods train 
early in June. I was followed there by several 
parties of P* O. W. On arrival of all the parties, I 
was ordere^ to assemble them for the Japanese 
Commander's Inspection. I did so. The Jap Com* 
mander then addressed all the P.O.W. and said, 
"I welcome you all ancj am very pleased to have 
you under my command. We regard you not as pri- 
soners of war, but as brothers, as we are all Asiatics* 

"It is the most ardent desire of ail Japanese 
people that India should achieve its independence as 
soon as possible ; and to enable you to participate 
in the freedom fight, we have made arrangements 
for re-arming, and training for that purpose." 

This was greatly resented by all-the P. O. W. as 
they had no intention of being re-armed and to 
undergo military training under the Japs. 

On conclusion of the parade the P. O. W. refused 
to dismiss unless their status and position was 
clarified. I took the Japanese Commander to my 
office, and in the presence of other P.O.W. officers 
explained the situation among the Indian P.O.W. 
who surrendered in Singapore. I told him that some 
who were known as the "Volunteers" were willing 
to take up arms and fight the British, and others who 
were known as the "non-volunteers*' wished to remain 
And be treated purely as P. O. W. 

I requested him that the question of Indian 
Independence was an affair of the Indians and that 



28 I. N. A. HEROES 

the Japanese should not force any Indian against his 
wishes to participate in it. 

I assured him that as far as the Japs were 
concerned we were all willing to help them in their 
war against the Anglo-American domination of Asia. 
I went on to say that the volunteers would help by 
actuary fighting the British and the non-volunteers 
would help by strengthening rear bases and lines of 
communications, such as building aerodromes, rail- 
ways, roads, etc. , 

He agreed with me and said that the latter task 
was even more important from their point of view 
than the first one, and so he agreed to issue orders to 
all Jap Commanders in Malaya under his command. 

Very briefly it was : - 
Volunteers for fighting. 
Non- volunteers for labour etc. 

A similar trouble occurred at Seramban, where 
on refusal of the P. O. W. to take up arms the 
Japanese fixed machine guns all round the camp, put 
the camp commander Capt. Ghulam Mohd. in a cell 
and gave the P. O* W. 24 hrs to think about it, after 
which if the P.O. W. still insisted they would all be 
shot* 

I heard about this and at once rushed to 
Seramban with the Jap Commander's deci- 
sion, which he had given at Kaula-Lumpur and after 
a great deal of persuasion I was able to make them 
see our point of view. 

In a similar manner I visited all the stations in 
Malaya, where the Indian P. O. W. were employed, 



MAJOR-GENERAL SHAHNAWAZ 29 

and ensured that the Indian P. O* W. were not coerced 
to take up arms or undergo Military training under 
the Japs. 

At Kuala-Lumpur, the Japs tried to teach the 
Indian P. O, W. Jap foot-drill, words of command 
and Jap method of saluting. I refused to allow 
them to do so. Although it is interesting to note 
that the English P. O. W. in Rangoon did all this. 

During this period my main pre-occupation was 
to improve the lot of the men under my command. 

System of Command. 

There were approx. 10,000 Indian P. O. W. in 
Malaya. They were stationed at Kualalumpur 
Alomar Sungeipatani Ipoh Malacca Seramban and 
Port Dickson east station was under command of the 
local Jap Command. Indian P-O. W. had their own camp 

commanders. All these stations were under the Jap. 
General Headquarters at Kuala-Lumpur, where I 
had my 'Headquarters and came under command of 
the Jap. Commander. 1 My job 'was to visit all Indian 
P. O. W. camps and represent any of their diffi- 
culties, etc-, to the Jap. G.H.Q, 

While in that position I managed to secure for 
the Indian P. O W. excellent living conditions very 
likely the best given to any P. O. W. in the Far East, 

Food : was excellent -Eggs, fish and chickens. 

Work and Pay : was paid regularly and work was 
very moderate. 

There were adequate arrangements for recreation 
of troops, they played foot-ball, hockey, etc. N 



I. N. A. HEROES 30 

Cinema shows were given in camps and troops 
could go out and see any picture by paying 10 cents 
(2 annas). 

P O. W. soldiers could go out to thfe town with a 
pass from their own camp commander, every day 
from 10 A.M to 4 P.M. Officers could go out in Muf- 
ti and visit any civilian friends. They could stay out 
from 10 A.M. to mid-night. 

Six men selected for execution by the Japs. 

On one occasion when I was out of the station, 
on tour, the Japanese took away 21 N.C.O.'s belong* 
ing to a S. and M. Unit pn the accusation that they 
were too pro-British. They selected six out of these 
for execution and made them sign their last will. 
When I returned from tour I found this out. I at once 
went to the Jap G.H.Q. and requested them to hand 
over my soldiers to me. I told them that I was sup- 
posed to be the Commander of Indian troops and 
that in principle it was wrong for the Jap to deal dis- 
ect with my subordinate officers and take away the 
men under my command without my knowledge. Fi- 
nally I informed them that if they insisted on doing 
this I would resign from my appointment. 

They then told me that I could take away 15 of 
the 21 N. C. O.'s back and that the other six, they had 
decided to execute as they were too pro+British, and 
feeing Japanese Prisoners were still insisting that they 
had taken an oath to be loyal to the King. 

I explained the full significance of this oath to 
them and told them that the normal procedure for 
dealing with any serious offence in the Indian Army 



MAJOR-GENERAL SHAHNAWAZ 31 

was to hold a "court of enquiry 19 and I assured them 
tfcat I would go very thoroughly into the case and if 
in the end, the court found their offence to be of a 
serious nature, I would myself hand over the men to 

the Japanese for punishment. 

# 

They agreed to this and I brought back all 21 
N. C. Os. safely to their unit, held a court of enquiry 
and released all of them. - 

"Quit India Resolution" and Mass Rally at K.L. 

On August 8th, 1942, the Indian civilians at 
Kaula-Lumpur were going to hold a mass rally to 
express their appreciation and approval of the "Quit 
India Resolution" passed by the Indian National 
Congress and to express their indignation at the 
arrest of Mahatma Gandhi and other prominent 
national leaders. That day in the morning, a Jap 
Liaison officer, Lt. Nyui, came to me and told me that 
the Gen, Comdg. K. L. area wished to know if I and 
my troops would like to take part in the rally. I told 
him that we would. He then went on to say that in that 
case we will have to march to the scene of the meet- 
ing carrying at the head of the column, Japnese Indian 
National Flags crossed. He said that this would be a 
sign of goodwill and close co-operation between the 
Japanese and the Indians. 

I told him to go and inform the General that if that 
was the condition. I would not take part in the meet- 
teg. I told him that no Indian, wishes to cmrry a Nation- 
*! flag of anothernation, and that if the Japanese in- 
*efctioa was to show to the Woiid that they cotd^make 



32 L N. A. HEROES , 

the prisoners carry Japanese flag by force then they 
ought to insist on this otherwise not. Finally I 
assured him that if we go to the meeting we witl 
inarch there only under our own National Flag and 
vrill not carry any Japanese flags. He went to the 
General and informed him of this. The Japanese 
General not only allowed me to have my own way 
but also issued orders that on that day no civilians 
were to show er carry any Jap flags. 

We went to the meeting, which was held at a big 
open Maidan at K. L. There were approx. 15,000 
people of all nationalities present there. Some high 
ranking Japanese officers were also present at that 
meeting. 

I was asked to deliver a speech on behalf of the 
Indian soldiers. I did so, and in the course of the 
speech, I said: Nobody must ever have any miscon- 
ceptions that the Japanese were going to make the 
I. N. A. a puppet force. I said, if on arriving in India, 
we found that the Japanese had any designs on it, we 
would turn round and fight them most vigorously, and 
assured them all that Bather than become a Japanese 
puppet, every single soldier of I. N. A., would perish 
fighting to uphold India's honour. This remark of 
mine must have thrilled the masses, as there was wild 
cheering. Perhaps it was too bold a statement to 
make when the people were terrified of the Japanese. 

A recording of my speech was also made. The 
next day, the Japanese General met me and congratu- 
lated me on my speech and said if we go into India 
with the intention of just replacing the British you 



33 MAJOR-GENERAL SHAHNAWAZ 

must fight us otherwise you would be traitors to your. 

country . ~. 

Recall to Singapore 

In September 1942 I was recalled to Singapore, 
and posted as 2/In Command to Col. Bhagat 
at the Officer Training School. Later I was 
appointed Coindt. O. T. S* which commenced in 
Nov. 1942 and after a few days it was disbanded by the 
order of Captain Mohan Singh. 

In my opening address to the cadets I said: 
"That independence was our birth-right, and to 
achieve this object we have to fight the British, 
and later we must be prepared to fight the Japanese 
too if they showed any intentions of dominating India." 

4 *That the fight for India's liberation had been 
going on in India for a long time and that we were 
a part and parcel of that struggle, and that to us it 
was immaterial who won the war, all that we were 
concerned with was our own lndependence,and that our 
fight had to go on until the time when India was 
completely independent*" 

The Crisis 

At the end of November 1942 some differ- 
ences of opinion arose between Capt, Mohan 
Singh and the Japanese, over the official rati- 
fication of the resolutions passed at the Bangkok 
Conference. 

He was arrested in December 1942 and taken 
away* Before his arrest, however,, he issued order for 
the disbandraent of the L N, A, 

On receipt of disbandment orders, the L N. A, 
ceased all work, dumped all their arms and equipmea" 



34 I. N. A. HEROES 

and burnt all I. N. A. Badges and from then on they 
maintained they were prisoners of war. 

The Japanese and Mr. R. B. Bose, the President of 
the Council of Action, refused to admit this. This state 
of affairs dragged on till February 1943. I was deter- 
mined to stay out of all future I. N. A. I also advised 
several officers and men to getout once and never to 
join another I. N. A. which by this time it was quite 
clear that the Japanese were determined to start and 
a vigorous propaganda campaign was already well ad- 
vanced to say that legally the I. N. A. could not be dis- 
banded by Capt. Mohan Singh as he himself had been 
appointed General to command it by the President of 
the Council of Action Mr. R. B. Bose. They said 
Mohan Singh could resign from the post himself, but 
had no authority to disband the I. N. A. 

Lecture by Gen. Iwakwro at Biddadan 

In Febuary 1943 after the Japanese had carried 
out intensive propaganda in the I. N. A. General 
Iwakuro called a meeting of all I. N. A, Officers 
(approx. 300) at Biddadari, and delivered a lec- 
ture. The salient point of his speech were : 

(a) "That the I. N, A. had been raised as a result 
of decision taken by all the Indians in East Asia, at or 
Bangkok Conference. 

(6) That the Japanese Government had sympa- 
thized with the desire of Indians to fight for the libe- 
ration of their country, and granted facilities for the 
representatives to meet at Bangkok and decide 
upou the ways and means of conducting their 
campaign. 

(c) That a Council of Action was selected by the 
Conference and Mr. R. B. Bose was appointed the 



MAJOR-GENERAL SHAHNAWAZ 35 

President, who had appointed Captain Mohan Singh 
to command the L N. A. forces. 

(<f ) That the Japanese Government had given a 
promise of all-out aid to the President, and finally he 
sXaid that Captain Mohan Singh could, if he so chose 
resign the command of the L N. A., but he nad pto 
authority to disband the L N, A, without the sanction 
of the President and that any attempt at disorganizing 
the I. N. A. would be treated as mutiny." 

This was a very critical time. The Japanses were 
determined to keep the I, N. A. going through sheer 
force, and at the time they were looking for ring lea- 
ders, they wished to make scapegoats, to frighten 
others to remain in the I. NxA. The senior officers 
realising the gravity of the situation kept themselves 
well out of the light. ^/ 

I could not stand this and replied to General 
I wakuro and made him admit that the Japanese had 
no justification for forcing us to continue in such a 
movement, as in a " holy movement " for securing 
India's independence, there was no place for deceit 
and coercion. He agreed and as a result of this every 
one was allowed a free choice of either continuing in 
the I.N.A. or going out of it. 

I had no wish to continue in the Llsf.A. at that 
time, next day I was sent for by General Iwa- 
kuro at his bunglow for a " heart talk " as he called it. 
He told me that he had fully appreciated the force 
of my argument at the previous days meeting and 
wished a man like me ought to take over the leader- 
ship of the L N. A. He asked me if I would like to ac- 
cept the leadership of the I. N.A.I replied that I 



3640 L N, A. HEROES 

would no* as I have not the necessary ability or 
following. 

He then requested me to give him my views on 
how a teal and true LN.A, could be started, I sug- 
gested 5 

(a) That the question of Indian Independence 
should be treated as a "holy thing" and anything per-' 
taining to it should be based on truth and on unsha- 
kable foundations, 

(i) That there should be no coercion? of any tort 
to induce any one to join it, everyone who came, for" 
ward must do so of his own free will, fully realising 
the consequences of doing so, I also suggested that 
) the people wishing to leave the L N, A. should be 
treated kindly. 

(c) Finally I told him that there wa$ only one 
man outside India, who could staff a real L N. A. and 
that was- Netaji S. Bosev I insisted that by the real 
I.N,A M I meant that it should be a formidable fight- 
ing force and not merely a propaganda army. 

He agreed rarith me and assured te that he would 
try his best to make arrangement for Netaji S. C, 
Bose to come to Singapore from Germany. 

I continued to remain out of the I N. A~ but later 
'due to persuasion by General Iwakuro, and by the 
fact that in trying to get others otit of the L N. A. 
without any blood I had committed myself too far 
and could not retrace my steps and so bad to join the 
LN. A. against my better judgement. 

My feelings at the time were that whether 1 liked 
it or not, I was in the I,N.A. Irealised that in trying 



MAJOR-GENERAL SHAHNAWA2 41 

to save others I had sacrificed myself, I therefore set 
about to see that 

(a) Every one who wished to leave the I. N. A. 
was able to do so without any fear of reprisals against 
him* 

(fc) Those who remained in the I. N. A. were to 
be prepared even to fight against the Japanese if they 
proved dishonest. 

(c) The Japs did not exploit us for their 
own benefit. 

By that time the Japanese had takan over all the 
P. O. W. under their own control and the men were 
xjuite happy. My next main worry was the treatment 
that would be given to the men ot the I. N A. who were 
gone out of it, after the crisis. We had an idea that 
they would be sent to the Pacific Islands, where con- 
ditions were very unpleasant. I, however, managed to 
arrange for approx. 20 Officers who were too old to 
undergo hardships to remain behind in Singapore. 
1. Capt. Dilawar Khan 2. S. M. Chandans. 
3. Lt. Shafi Ullah 4. S. M. Lai Khan. 

5. Capt. T. M. Khanzada, 6. Sub. Hazara Singh. 
M.C., D.S.O , 

and several others. 

The re-organisation of the I. N. A, was then start- 
ed. I was the Chief of the General Staff to tfie D.M.B. 
(Director of Military Bereau) and in accordance 
with my intention, I set about to find such men for 
the I. N. A. as would be willing to tight the Japs if 
they were dishonest rtith us- 

For this I undertook a tour of the mainland of 
|Sfalaya. During this visit at Kuala-Iumpar 



42 I; N. A. HEROES 

I found the Japanese in control of our Indian 
Recruits Training Centre, I resented this strongly 
and reported it to Col. Bhonsle, the D. M. B. and 
laty went and discussed this with the Jap Chief 
of Staff to put an end to this. 

During this period I Vas not very happy as the 
Japanese were openly and ruthlessly exploiting us* 
by creating factions among the atmy as well as 
in the civil. 

Col. Bhonsle, a senior and experienced officer, 
although a perfect gentleman was helpless and could 
do nothing to stop Jap exploitation. I was disgusted 
with the state of affairs and took no interest in it. 

Early in July 1943 Netaji S. C. Bose arrived and 
took over complete control and saved the situation. 

^ietajis arrival and its effect an me 
When Netaji arrived in Singapore, I watched him 
very keenly. I had never seen him or met him before,, 
and did not know very much about his activities in 
India. I heard a number of his public speeches, which 
had a profound effect on me. It will not be wrong 
to say that I was hypnotized by his personality and his 
speeches. He placed thd true picture of India before us 
and for the first time in my life I saw INDIA, through 
the eyes of an Indian* He rid me of the Anglo- 
phobia, of which I had been a victim since my very 
childhood* 

I was most impressed by his selflessness, his 
absolute devotion to his country t his frankness and his 
refusal to bow before the Japanese wishes I knew 
that in his hands India's honour was safe, he would 



MAJOR-GENERAL SHAHNAWAZ 43 

never barter it for anything in the world. Also when 
I heard him give a free choice to everyone in the 
L N. A. to leave its ranks if they were not prepared 
to make extreme sacrifices and his warning to those 
who stayed on in the I N. A. to be prepared to face 
thirst, hunger, forced marches and in the end death* 
and when with my own eyes I saw the madding, 
enthusiasm of thousands of poverty-stricken Indians 
in the Far EaSt, who gave to the I. N. A. all that they 
possessed and whole families joined the Azad Hind 
Fauj and became "Fakira" for the sake of their 
country, I knew we had a real leader and when he 
in the name of millions of poverty-stricken, unarmed 
and helpless Indians appealed to us to come forward 
and sacrifice our lives for their liberation no honour- 
able Indian could have refused this much to him. 

I found a leader and decided to follow him, and 
for me it was the greatest and the most difficult 
decision of my life That of fighting against my kith 
and kin, who were in the British Indian Army in very 
large numbers, and whom, I was certain, I could never 
induce to see eye to eye with me. 

At the back of my mind was the traditional urge 
of loyalty to the King. I owed all my education to 
him. My family ax^d my tribe were one of the privi- 
leged classes in India. They were all prosperous ancE 
contented. This too we owed to the British 
Government and I knew that no change in India 
would bring them any more prosperity. In fact they 
were likely to suffer by it and lastly, there was the oatk 
of allegiance which I as on officer owed to tfee King. 



44 l. N, A. HEROES 

I fully realized the consequences of " waging war 
against the King." 

But on the other band when I thought of the 
"starving millions" who were being ruthlesslessly 
exploited by the British, and were being deliberately 
kept illiterate and ignorant to make this exploitation 
easier I developed a great hatred for the system of 
rule in India, which to me it seemed was based on 
41 injustice " and to remove this injustice I decided to 
sacrifice my everything My life, my home, my 
iamily and its traditions. I made up my mind to fight 
even against my brother if he stood in my way, and 
in the actual fighting that followed in 1944, we fought 
against each other. He was wounded. My cousin 
and I were fighting each other in Chin Hill, almost 
daily for two months. What enabled me do this was 
the feeling that the British were sucking the life blood 
of India, and of the streams they were sucking, they 
were giving a drop of that blood to my family to enlist 
tneir aid for this inhuman act. I realized that the 
prosperity of any tribe was due to this "Drop of 
India's Blood" and I considered it Immoral 
to thrive on it. In short the question before me was 
the King or the Country. I decided to be loyal to 
my countty and gave my word of honour to my 
NETAJI that I would sacrifice myself for the sake of 
my country. 

I was a soldi er t and once I had "taken the deci- 
sion" I concentrated on fighting from the first to 
the last day* I also "realized that if on going into 
India* which was probable due to poor' British 



MAJOR-GENERAL SHAHNAWAZ 45 

defences,*the Japs were dishonest, I would be much 
more useful to my country with a rifle in hand in 
India, than as a P, O. W. in Malaya. 

In Sept. 1^43, Nataji decided to select a picked 
Regt,, cansisting of the " Cream of the I. N. A.' 1 and 
send it into action to form the spearhead of the 
advance into India,. I was given the proud privilege 
of commanding this Regt, 

At Rangoon in Feb. 1944, on the eve of the 
departure of the Regiment to t^e front, Netaji came 
and delivered a farewell speech. He addressed us thus 
^-w/oUj ^ O^ )}\ ^Z>>} *-j~* "The eyes of whole of 
India nay, the whole world are focussed on you. The 
fate of 400 million Indians depends on what you 
accomplish on the battlefield. You are the strength 
of my arms, I fully realized the magnitude of the 
task I had undertaken and my knee** trembled under 
this heavy burden of responsibility ; but I was- 
determined to overcome all obstacles and was certain 
of victory. I knew that whatever might happen,, 
nothing could stop me from achieving the greatest vic- 
torythat of laying down my life for the sake of 
my country, on the battlefield." 

At first I was nervous, I prayed to Almighty 
God to give me the necessary guidance and strength 
to enable me to achieve my object. 

The actual achievements and sufferings of 
"SUBHAS" Brigade is an epic story, which is 
described in full detail elsewhere, but here suffice 
it to say that no army in the world could have 
achieved so much with so little ; and no country 



46 i. N. A. HEROES 

could have wished for truer sons. The last words 
of a soldier, who was dying through starvation and 
lack of medical aid there were hundreds of maggots 
in hi* wounds sum up concisely the achievement 
of the Regiment that lose 60 per cent, of its men 
in the first campaign. His words were : "Sahib, 
please tell Netaji, that I died happily and that I did 
my duty" 

In Oct. 1944, the Regiment, having returned from 
the front, concentrated at Budalin, near Yeu. 
During the seven months that they were at the front, 
they established their superiority over the enemy 
wherever they went. In fact their main difficulty 
*was that the enemy would not stand up against 
them and fight (See my letter to Nataji written 
fromHaka in May 1944). During this phase there 
was never an occasion when they attacked the enemy 
and did put him to flight or captured their posts, and 
there was never an occasion when they withdrew, 
even an inch, before the enemy's onslaught. 

In Oct. 1944, I went to Mandalay to report 
to Netaji and then accompanied him to Rangoon, 
-where I stayed till December. 

In Dec* 1944, 1 returned to Mandalay to take 
over "the command of No. 1 Division and held in its 
-evacuation to Pyinmana This was completed 
early in February 1945. 

On 18th Feb. 1945 Netaji came to Pyinmana. 
to inspect No. iDi/ision. He told me that No. 2 
Division had moved from Rangoon to Popa 
ifront, but unfortunately Col. Ari* Ahmad, the 



MAJOR-GENERAL SHAHNAWAZ 47 

Divisional Commander, had been injured in an enemy 
bombing raid, and that he was in a difficult situa- 
tion, because he could not find a suitable officer 
to replace him. He said Gen. Bhonsle, the Chief 
of Staff, was not willing to come forward, because 
he thought that it was a "come down'' for him to 
command a Division, and Gen. Kiani was ^ unable 
to go because of his ill-health and his inability to 
co-operate with the Jap Divisional Commander, 
Gen. Yamamota, in that area. 

Every one at that time realized that the military 
situation was very grave and the battle of Burma 
had been lost. However I could not see Netaji in 
difficulties and offered my services, although at that 
time I was under treatment for Ben-Ben. 

On 20th Feb. 1945, I accompanied Netaji to 
Meiktilla, when he was going to inspect front 
line troops in Popa-Kyauk-Padaung area* 

When we were at Meiktiila, the enemy 
mechanized columns broke through and almost 
encircled us. We managed to escape and return to 
Pyinqiana and then to Rangoon. 

On 7th March 1945, 1 bid my last fare well to Netaji 
and poceeded to Popa to take command of No.' 2 
Division. 

At the time of my departure Netaji was extremely 
upset and worried about the situation in No. 2 
Division, both from a Military point of view, and the 
internal situation, which had become very grave 
indeed by the desertion of 4 officers of the Divisional 



48 1. N. A. HEROES 

Headquarters, Netaji told me that he was very much 
ashamed of it and could not show his face to anyone. 
This grieved me immensely and I assured Netaji 
that the situation was not so bad as he thought, and 
promised him that we (I and other senior officers 
of the Div.) would uphold India's honour, even under 
the most adverse conditions. Thus when I left 
Rangoon for the front, to take over command of 
No. 2 Division, the only thought in my mind was to 
allay Netaji's anxieties or die in the attempt. This 
was the frame of my mind at the time when I left 
Rangoon. 

The events that followed are given in full detail 
elsewhere. Suffice it to say that with the help and 
outstanding leadership of my Regimental Commanders 
at Popa Lt, Col. P. K. Sahgal and Lt. Col. G. S. 
Dhillon, the situation was completely restored, and 
we halted the enemy's advance for over one month 
and rejuvenated the spirit and morale of the men ; and 
later to the great joy of all of us received Netaji's 
message expressing his complete satisfaction with the 
situation in No. 2 Division, both from a Military as 
well as internal point of view* 

On April 12th the Division received orders to 
withdraw to Magwe Taundwingy area. This was 
much against my wish, and during the withdrawal 
No. 2 Regt. under Col Sahgal was overtaken by 
enemy tank columns and had to surrender. I with 
Col. G. S. Dhillon and the remnants of No, 1, 2, and 
4Regts. withdrew to Pegu, in an attempt to break 



MAJOR-GENERAL SHAHNAWAZ 49 

through and reach Moulmein. But we were unable 
to do so and had to surrender. 

During this retreat from Popa-Pegu, we covered 
over 500 miles on foot, with no transport or proper 
ration supply ; in doing so we had to break through 
six enemy encirclements, and only surrendered after 
we had heard that Netaji had ordered all I.N.A. 
units in Rangoon to surrender and when we had no 
other alternative^left. 

Some soldiers unable to induce themselves to 
accept this order, prefered to take their own lives and 
committed "suicide." I did not do so, because I felt it 
my duty still to lead my men and share their 
hardships as I had done on the battlefield. 
41 JAIHIND" 



(2) 

SEPOY MOHD. HUSSAIN'S CASE 
(SHOT AT POPA ON 29ra MARCH 1945) 

On 5th March 1945, when I was in Rangoon, I was 
sent for by Netaji, for a talk in which he told me 
that: 

(a) The Military situation on 2 Div. Front 
fead- become very grave and that this had been made 
worse by the Divisional Commander Col. Aziz Ahmed's 
inability to go there owing to a head injury. He 
also stated that he had asked both Major-General 
J. K. Bhonsle and Major-General M. Z. Kiani to 
proceed to that front and take over command, but 
both of them had declined to do so, the former, 
because he considered it below his dignity to command 
a division, after holding the appointment of the 
Chief of Staff, and the latter because of ill-health, and 
his inability to co-operate with the local Japanese 
Commander on that front. 

Netaji then told me that he wished me to take 
over the command of 2 Division and proceed to 
Popa as soon as possible* 

(20 He went on to say that there were other bad 
news from that front, and it was that four Majors, 
namely, Mohd. Riaz, Mohd. Sarwar, P. J. Madan and 
& NL Dey, all of Divisional H. Q., had deserted tq the 

50 



MAJOR-GENERAL SHAHNAWAZ 51 

British side a few days earlier. He said that by this 
cowardly act they had brought shame and disgrace 
on India's honour, and that as a result of their action 
we h&d lost all oar respect in the eyes of our Allies 
the Japanese and the Burmese. 

He impressed upon me the necessity of preventing 
.any more desertions, and that I had his permission to 
use any methods including award of Summary Capital 
Punishment to stop it. 

He finally concluded by saying that if there were 

any more desertions among the troops, the orily course 

left open to him, would be to "commit suicide." I 

could see that Netaji was extremely upset and meant 

what he said. 

I was very devoted to my Netaji and was deter- 
mined that to allay his anxiety and to uphold India's 
-honour, I would stop short of nothing. 

This was the frame of mind in which I arrived at 
Popa on 12th March 1945, and took over command of 
*No. 2 Division. 

On arrival at Popa, I found the situation very 
.critical. The troops had lost confidence in their 
officers and their morale was low. 

A large number of other officers, besides those 
-who had deserted, were being detained in custody on 
suspicion of having intentions to desert. 

The Military situation was even 
Powerful enemy mechanized columns 
Meiktila and were threatening o 
fortes were also being massed or 
tafter their crossing of the Irrau 



52 I. N. A. HEROES 

complete air superiority and we were being subjected! 
to constant bombing and machine-gunning from 
numerous aeroplanes the enemy used on this front. 
These were rendered very devastating by the exact 
information of an H. Q. and troop concentration given 
to the eqexny by the deserters. 

My first and foremost task was therefore to restore 
the lost confidence of the men in their officers, and 
secondly to build up their morale, by taking offensive 
action on the enemy and defeating them in battle, 
and by taking steps for stopping further deserters. 
Both these objects were achieved to a very great 
degree. 

As given above desertions had two very un- 
fortunate results : 

(a) They had bad effect on the morale of other 
soldiers. 

(6) They revealed the exact location of our 
Head Quarters, troop concentrations, supply and 
ammunition dumps and Hospitals, with the result 
that these were bombed and great loss of life and 
material was inflicted on us. 

On one occasion our Hospital area was bombed 
and some patients were killed and all our medicines 
were burnt, with the result that these could never be 
replaced and the sick and wounded naturally suffered. 

There was great indignation against such indis- 
criminate bombing} and against deserters who were* 
fee canst of it* 



TMAJOR-GENERAL SHAHNAWAZ 53 

In the meantime written orders were received 
frqm the Supreme Commander "AZAD HIND 
FAUJ" (Netaji S. C. Bose) that in future the 
punishment for desertion would be death, and the 
Divisional and Regimental Commanders were given 
the power to award this punishment summarily. 

A few days later I received a personal letter 
:feom Netaji, in which he asked me to exercise utmost 
vig&llance to prevent desertions and to take any steps, 
\which I considered necessary including award of 
Capital Punishment to the offenders. He also asked 
me to convey his message to all the Regimental 
Commanders. 1 did so and obtained the initials 
.of Cols. P. K. Sahgal and G. S. Dhillon on it. 

Also before my arrival at Popa, four men of 
No. 4 Regiment had been shot for desertion. Thus 
a precedent had already been created, before Sy. 
Mohd. Hussain of No. 2 Regt. was brought up before 
me for desertion. The award of Capital Punishment 
on him was distasteful to me, but at a time when 
the extreme necessity was to restore confidence of 
the troops in their leaders I could show no weak* 
ness, especially because Mohd. Hussain was a Muslim 
and any leniency in dealing with his case might have 
been misinterpreted on communal lines. This was 
Blithe more important in view of the fact that I 
was new to the Division and had just taken over 
its command, and had no previous contact with the 
officers and men of that unit. 



54 I. N. A. HSROES 

Full facts of the case are as under : 
On 26th or 27th March 1945, Maj. B.S. Ngi, 2/Itr 
Command to Col. Sahgal, commanding No. 2 Regi- 
ment and Lt. Khazin Shah, commanding 1st Bn. of 
No. 2 Regiment came to my Head Quarters and 
reported that they had some men to be brought up 
before me for attempted desertion. I asked them to 
march them in before me* 

They produced three men before me. 

Sy. Mohd. Hussain 1 

Sy. Alladifa h All on charge of desertion 

Sy. Jagiri Ram j 

Major Negi handed over the charge sheet to me 
and explained that owing to being unwell Col. Sahgal 
could not come himself, and that he had gone into 
the case of those three men and and was of te 
opinion that they deserved the extreme penalty. Lt. 
Khazin Shah, the Battalion Commander, was also 
of the same opinion. 

I read out the charge sheet to the three accused, 
two pleaded not guilty and one Sy. Mohd. Hussain 
pleaded guilty. I returned the charge sheet to Major 
Negi, after full investigation and asked him to bring, 
up Mohd. Hussain before me the next day for deser- 
tion, and that the other two were to be dealt with 
by the Regimental Commander, as they were not 
guilty of desertion. 

Next day Mohd. Hussain, along with the other 
two. was brought up before me. I read out the charge 
sheet to him, and asked him to tell me the truth. He 
mid, that he did intend to desert and that be had 



MAJOR-GENERAL SHAHNAWAZ 55 

also instigated the other two to desert with him. 1 
then asked the other two witnesses Sy. Alladitta and 
Sy. Jagiri Ram to make their statements. They both 
admitted that Sy. Mohd. Hussain had tried to 
instigate them to desert and that he had told them 
that he was going to desert. 

Being fully satisfied from the evidence that the 
nfen was guilty I awarded the punishment of death 
to bin. Once the charge was established against the 
man, there was no other alternative left for me, by 
the existing orders on the subject, and by the 
precedent of 4 men of No. 4 Regt. shot before my 
arrival* 

I ordered Maj. Mehr Das, my senior staff officer, 
who was also present there, to take down in writing 
the full statement and confession of Sy. Mohd. 
Hussain, before the sentence was carried. 

This I understand he was not likely to do, as we 
had to move out immediately on active operations to 
stop a serious advance by the enemy. 

When, where and how (if ever) Sy. Mohd. 
Hussain was shot is not known to me. 

I would also like to point out that at the time 
when I awar.ded the punishment to him, I and Sy. 
Mohd. Hussain were both subject to the I. N. A. Act. 
He bad voluntarily accepted to join the organization, 
and to abide by its rules and regulations. 

Prior to his being sent to the front, he had been 
given undermentioned opportunities of not going to 
the front if he did not wish to do so : 



56 L tf, A. HEROES 

i 

(a) In Singapore, before the Regt. started moving 
to the frontjin Burma. 

(ft) At Rangoon^ in a speech by Netaji, and by 
the Regimental Commander in which they 
asked all men who were physically or 
mentally unfit to go to the front to stay 

: behind. 

ptSome men did actually stay behind. 

Again on arrival at Popa, the Regiment Com* 
mander Col. P. K. Sahgal gave every one an oppor- 
tunity to go back to Rangoon, if they did not wish to 
stay on and fight in Popa or to go over to the Allies, 
but in the latter case, he said the men would not be 
allowed to take I. N. A. Arms with them. Some man 
were actually sent back from Popa. 

In conclusion, if in spite of voluntarily joining 
the organization and accepting its rules and regulations 
and given ample opportunities of staying behind, away 
from the front, the man still insisted on betraying his 
country and his pomrades he well deserved the punish- 
ment which he received. 



(3) 
SURRENDER. 

Having left Popa on 12th April in accordance 
with orders, we reached the outskirts of Pegu, on 16th 
May having marched over 500 miles, without any 
proper supply of rations or transport. During this 
inarch, by which we intended to join NETAJI at 
Moulmein, we broke 'six times through enemy 
encirclements. 

On 16th May I realized that the situation had 
become almost hopeless ; this was made worse by the 
false information given to me by a Japanese Brigade 
Commander. He said, the British forces had crossed 
the Sittang river and that fighting: was probably going 
on at Moulmein." 

Rangoon had been captured by the Allies and the 
British forces were stretched out along the road 
JRangoon-Pegu-Meiktilla and Mandalay. So I ordered 
all the troops with me to go and surrender to the 
British at Pegu. 

This they did under command of Major A. B. 
Singh and Jagir Singh. 

I did not intend ever to surrender to the British 
and so took a party of approximately 5 officers and 40 
soldiers with the intention of continuing the fight. 
(See my diary X In the meantime the British forces 

57 



58 L N. A. HEROES 

closed round us and finally without any rations or 
medicines, in a country whose population was very 
hostile, there was no other course left for us, but to 
surrender. 

The following day. 17th May at about 11.00 hrs. 
we sent an officer 2/Lt. (I. N. A.) Rai Singh, with a 
white flag and a letter. The contents of which were : 

To 

The Commander of British Forces. 

From 

The Commander of L N. A. Tps. 2 Division, 

44 We have ceased fighting and wish to surrender, 
our party consisting of 45,men." 

It was signed by G. S. Dhillon. 

At about 16.00 hrs. Lt. Rai Singh returned. He 
was accompanied by a 2/Lt Tehl Singh of 2/lst Punjab 
Regiment. Lt. Tehl Singh came and met us and 
asked us to accompany him to his company area; 
where we were all disarmed and taken to his Coy. 
H. Qrs. where I met Major Ram Singh, 2/lst Punjab 
Regiment, who was commanding the Company. From 
there we were taken to their Batallion Head Quarters 
and eventually to the Corp. Head Quarters, where 
the officers were separated from the men and taken 
to Pegu Jail. 

The following day 18th May, CoL G. S. Dhillon 
and I were taken to the F. I. C (Forward Interroga- 
tion Centre) and a guard was placed over the house 
ia which we were accommodated. After a few days 



MAJOR-GENERAL SHAHNAWAZ 99 

this guard was removed and we were told by Major 
Orr, the Officer Commanding F. C. C. that we were 
on Parole. Up to this time we had been wearing our 
I. N. A. Uniform and Badges of rank. 

We told him he could make us "take off' 9 our 
I. N. A. Badges of rank, but could not order us to put 
on British Badges of rank. He agreed to this. 

On 9th June I left Pegu for Rangoon and from 
there for Calcutta by Air arriving on llth June and 
.DELHI on 14th June 1945. 



(4) 
STATEMENT IN THB COTOT. 

Mr. President and members of this honourable 
'court* 

In this statement I am going to lay before you, 
very frankly, the considerations and motives that have 
impelled me from the day of my surrender in 
Singapore on 15th February 1942 to the day of my 
capture by the British forces at Pegu on 16th May 
1945. 

Before touching on the actual period, I would like 
to throw some light on my early history and Army 
career : 

Early History 

I was born in a family of Janjua Rajputs in 
Rawalpindi. My father who was the leader of the 
Tribe in the District served in the Indian Army for 
30 years. 

In the first and the second World Wars, every 
Able-bodied member of- 'my family joined the army. 
At present there are over 80 of them serving as 
officers in the Indian Army* 

In short I belong to a family in which loyalty to 
ithe Crown has always been a valued tradition. 

I was educated at the Prince of Wmles's Royal 
jtodian Military College, Dehra Dun, 

60 



MAJOR-GENERAL SHAHNAWAZ 61 

In 1933 I passed out into the I. M. A. Dehra Dun., 
and received the undermentioned scholarships : - 
(a) King: Emperor's Cadet-ship. 
(6) Sir Partap Singh Memorial Prize for being: 
the best cadet and for belonging to a family 
having the best military services to its. 
credit. 

I passed out of the I. M. A. as an under officer 
and was attached to a British Battalion for one year, 
after which I was posted to 1st Bn. 14th Punjab . 
Regiment in February, 1937. 

In short I was brought up in an atmosphere which 
was purely military and up to the time of my meeting 
with NETAJI S. C. Bos>e at Singapore in July 1943, 1 
i was politically almost uneducated. I was brought up . 
to see India through the eyes of a young British 
officer, and all that I was interested in was soldiering 
and sport* 

Call to Malaya 

In March 1941, my Battalion went overseas to 
Malaya. At that time I was left behind in command 
of a company at the Tiaining Centre at Ferozepore. 

Early in November 1941, my 0. C. Lt. CoL 
L. V. Fitzpatrick wrote to the G. H. Q. India, 
asking for my being sent out to join the Battalion* 
The Officer Commanding of the Training Centre, how- 
ever, refused to allow me to go, on the grounds that my 
services could not be spared. He also protested about it 
to the G.H.Q, and an Indian Army Order was published v 



42 L N. A. HEROES 

stating that in 4?ture the active Bos. should not ask 
for any officer by name. 

CoL Fitspatrick, however, again applied forme 
-through Malaya High Command, but his request 
was again turned down. 

Early in Dec. 1941, he wrote a private letter to 
the Officer Commanding the Training Centre, stating 
that it was imperative in the interests of the Battalion 
that I should be sent out to join it. 

On receipt of this letter I was allowed to proceed 
to Malaya and join my Battalion. 

I was very proud of my Battalion, and was very 
happy to join it in the fight against the Japanese. 

On 16th January, 1942, I sailed from Bombay, 
determined to live up to the good name of the 
Sherdil Bn. and to uphold the martial traditions of 
my family. 

I arrived at Singapore on January 29th, 1942, when 
the situation had become very critical. In 'spite of 
this I was determined to put up a brave fight. 

In, the battle of Singapore on 13th, 14th and 15th 
February 142, when the British officers, on my right 
and left flanks, had disappeared with their units, I held 
on to my position until ordered by my Commanding 
Officer^to surrender. 

I resented this order very much especially because 
I 'felt that I had , pot been given a fair chance to fight 
the enemy. To have brought me to Singapore so late 
In the fight, only to be be ordered to lay down my 
arms, and to surrender unconditionally, I considered 



MAJOR-GENERAL SHAHNAWA2 63 

to be extremely unjust to myself and to my sense of 
honour as a soldier* 

Surrender and the Concentration at the Farr er Park 

On the night of 15/16th Feb. 1942 the day of 
surrender, we received orders that all Indians, 
including the King's Commissioned Officers, were to 
concentrate at Farrer Park : and all British Officers 
and other ranks were to concentrate at Changi. 

All of us, especially* the officers, were surprised to 
hear this order, because according to the laws of 
civilized warfare, all captured officers irrespective 
of nationality, whether Indian or British, are kept 
together, and separate from the rank and file. 

We had heard of the Japanese ways before, and 
felt that British brother officers were leaving us in the 
lurch to face it all by ourselves. 

On the morning of the 16th Feb. 1942. when we 
were marching off to our concentration area, our 
Commanding Officer Major MaCadam, along with 
other British Officers, came to see off the Bn ; when 
shaking hands with me, he said, "I suppose this is the 
parting of our ways/ 9 

These words confirmed my belief that we, the 
Indians, were being left in the lurch. These were the 
feelings and the state of mind in which I went to 
Farrer Park. 

Handing over Ceremony 

At Farrer Park we were handed over to the 
commander o'f the Japanese Intelligence Departmen 



64 I. N. A. HEROES 

Maj. Fujiwara, by Col. Hunt, the representative of the 
British Govt. When handing over. Col Hunt 
called the parade to attention and said : - 

"To-day I, on behalf of the British Govt. hand 
you over to the Japanese Government, whose 
orders you will obey as you have done 



ours." 



Major Fujiwara then brought the parade to 
attention and said, "On behalf of the Japanese 
Government I take you over, under my charge." 
He then went to say, "I on behalf of the 
Japanese Govt. now hand you over to G. 0. C. 
Mohan Singh, who shall have the power of life 
and death over you." 

Major Fujiwara made a speech in which he 
declared that we would not be treated as prisoners, 

but as brothers by the Japanese, and expressed the 
hope that all of us would join the Army which would 
be raised to fight for India's Freedom, under the 
leadership of G* O. C. Mohan Singh. 

After this Capt. Mohan Singh came to the stage 
and made a similar speech. 

These speeches came to me as a complete bomb- 
shell. The very idea of joining hands with our former 
enemies to fight against our own kith and kin was- 
fantastic. 

I as well as most of the other officers had a 

feeling of being completely helpless at being handed 

over iifee cattle by the British to the Japs and by the 

"japs to Capt. Mohan Singh, whom they gave power* 

of life and death over us. 



MAJOR-GENERAL SHAHNAWAZ 65 

With all due regards to Capt Mohan Singh's 
iincerity and leadership which he displayed later ; I 
had known him well for the last 10 years. He had 
always been an efficient, but an average officer. The 
mere fact of being handed over to him, and his 
announcement as the G. O. C. having powers of life 
and death over us, made me feel suspicious of the 
Japanese intentions, as among the Indian P. of W. 
there were some very senior and brilliant officers like 
Col Gill and Col, Bhonsle with at least 15 to 20 years* 
service in the army, whereas Capt. Mohan Singh had 
only 8 to 9 years' service. 

I was fully convinced, knowing Capt. Mohan 
Singh so well, that politically at any rate, he would 
not be able to cope with the Japanese political 
intrigues and we would be exploited by them for 
their own ends. I, therefore, firmly made up my 
mind not to have anything to do with organisa- 
tion and in spite of the feeling of frustration and 
helplessness, the element of traditional loyalty to the 
King triumphed and not only did I make up my 
own mind to keep out of the I. N. A. but as the 
head of a famous military tribe I felt it my duty to 
warn others, especially the men I commanded and 
the men that came from my area, to keep out of it. 
The advice that 1 gave them at that time was that 
if any of them was asked to shoot at his own brethren, 
he should turn round and shoot at the person asking 
him to do so. 



66 I. N. A. HEROES 

Three stages 

The period from the time of my surrender in 
Singapore in February 1942 to the time of my 
capture by the British in May 1945, can be divided 
into 3 distinct parts : 

Part I. 15th February 1942 to the end of 
May 1942, during which period I was against the 
very idea of such an organization coming into 
existence, and fought against it as vigorously as was 
possible, under the unfortunate circumstances in 
which we were placed. 

Part II. June 1942 to June 1943. Realizing that 
I had failed in my first object, I decided in the 
interests of my men, to volunteer for the I. N. A., 
with full determination that I would do everything 
possible to break it or to sabotage it from within, 
as soon as I felt that it would submit to Japanese 
exploitation. 

Part III. July 1943 to May 1945, when I was 
fully convinced that it was a genuine army of libera- 
tion, 

I would like to give some details and important 
events that took place in each of the above given 
parts : 

In the first part, I was against the idea of 
creating an Indian National Army, because 

(a) I realized that the Japanese were out to 
exploit us, and none of us was politically 
capable of dealing with them ; 



MAJOR-GENERAL SHAHNAWAZ 67 

O) The hmnding over of all the Indian P. O. W 
to Capt. Mohan Singh by the Japanese 
made me feel even more suspicious of 
their intentions, and so I felt it my duty 
to fight against it . 

Move to Weesoon 

The next day, 17th February, 1942, I went with 
my Battalion to Neesoon Camp, and after a few 
days I was appointed Camp Commandant. 

There were approx. 20.000 P. of W. in that 
camp. The accommodation there was sufficient only 
ior approx. 8 to 10 thousand men. 

There were no sanitation arrangements. 

There was no Water Supply. 

Hospital arrangements were very poor and we 
had no medicines. 

As a result of this, dysentery and other epidemics 
broke out. 

The discipline of troops had gone off completely, 
and so I had a very difficult task to perform ; but 
thanks to the strenuous efforts of the camp medical 
staff, particularly Col. Chaudhn, Maj. Elabi Bux. 
and Major Gilani, disease was controlled, and by the 
efforts of a S. and M. unit, electric, water and sanitary 
arrangements were completed. 

After the events in Farrer Park I was fully 
convinced that the Japanese were going to exploit 
us, and so on reaching Neesoon Camp, one of the 
iirst things I did was to organize a block of officers, 
whose object it was to prevent the formation of the 
I. N. A. 



68 I. N. A. HEROES 

I commanded 'the Neesoon Camp from March 
to June 1942, during which period my only concern 
was to improve the unfortunate lot of the men under 
my command. 

During the time I was commanding Neesoon,. 
the largest Indian P. of W. Camp in Singapore, 
not a single person was ever sent to any concen- 
tration or detention camp. I allowed every one to- 
have, and express, his opinion freely and to decide 
for himself, without any outside pressure. 

By the end of May 1942 it had become quite 
evident that in spice of all our efforts the L N. A,, 
would come into existence. 

In the same month we had to decide whether 
or not we would volunteer for the L N. A. and volun- 
teers and non-volunteers were to be separated. I 
received orders from the Head Quarters to forward 
lists of volunteers and non-volunteers to them,, 
for allotment of separate camps to each category. 

In view of this new situation I held several 
meetings of the "Block" and it was decided that 
since we had failed in our first object to prevent the 
formation of the I. N. A. the next best thing was for 
senior officers to join it with the object of : 

(a) Giving protection and help to P. of W. 
(&) To stop its being exploited by the Japanese, 
(c) To sabotage and :wreck it from within,, 
the r moment we felt that it would submit 
to Japanese exploitation. 

1, however, advisccf the rank and file to keep out 
of it. 



MAJOR-GENERAL 8HAHNAWAZ 69 

t 
In accordance with this decision, in the middle 

of May 1942, at Neesoon, in the presence of all 
officers of the camp, I declared myself a volunteer, 
but gave every one a free choice to decide lor himself. 
1 also gave orders that any one trying to persuade 
any one else to join the 1. N. A. would be punished. I 
also asked for the list which had to be forwarded to 
J. N. A. H.Q. on the following day. 

Mosque Meeting 

The same afternoon I called a meeting of all 
Muslim officers in the mosque and told them my 
reasons for joining the I. N. A. I also told them that 
they would be separated shortly, and I asked them 
to give an assurance that they would not become 
volunteers, through any force or coercion used 
against them by the Japanese. They all agreed and 
said a 4| Dua-Khair f| a religious 'confirmation of 
the decision taken. 

PERT II 
Bangkok Conference 

Early in 'June 1942 Captain Mohan Singh called 
a conference of all senior officers at his residence to 
discuss the plans for the forthcoming conference to be 
Jheld at Bangkok. 

He revealed that he had to take 90 delegates 
there on behalf of Indian P. of W. He went on to 
say that he proposed to take only 30 delegates and 60 
proxy votes. 



70 I. N. A. HEROES 

My own feeling was that at Bangkok we were 
likely to be committed too far and was not in favour 
of Indian P. O. W, participating in such a confer- 
ence. In the discussion that followed some misunder- 
standing arose over the selection of delegates and from 
Neesoon, the biggest P. of W. camp in Malaya, 
only one delegate and not a single proxy vote was 
sent td the conference. 

On account of this misunderstanding the same 
evening I was relieved of the command of Neesoon 
Camp and was ordered to proceed to Kuala- 
Lumpur, with working parties of prisoners of war. 
Stay at Kaula-Lumvur 

I arrived at Kaula-Lumpur by a goods train early 
in June and was appointed Commander of all P- of W. 
parties in Malaya, My duty was to tour ail 
P. of W. stations in Malaya and put up their 
grievances to the Japanese General Head Quarters 
which wasjat Kuala-Lumpur. 

At Kuala-Lumpur I was ordered by the Japanese 
to assemble all droops for the Garrison Commander's 
inspection* The Japanese Commander addressing the' 
P. of W. said, "I welcome you all and am very pleased 
to have you under my command. We regard you 
not as P. of W. but as our brothers as we are all 
Asiatics. It is the most ardent desire of all Japanese 
people that India should achieve its independence as 
soon as possible and to enable you to participate in the 
fight for freedom we have made arrangements for re- 
arming and training you for that purpose/'* I realized 



MAJOR-GENERAL SHAHNAWAZ 71 

that the Japanese were out to exploit the Indian P. of 
W. who resented taking up arms. 

I explained to the Japanese Commander that the 
question of Indian Independence was an affair of the 
Indians and that the Japanese had no right to force 
any Indian against his wishes to participate in it. He 
agreed with me and it was decided that in future the 
Indian P. of W. would be asked to do only labour 
and other P. of W. duties. 

A similar trouble arpse at Seremban, whete on 
refusal of the P. of W. to take up arms the Japanese 
fixed machine guns ail round their camp, put the 
Camp Commander Lt. Ghulam Mohd. 3/16' P. R., 
in a cell and gave the P. of W. 24 hours to think about 
it and decide, after which if they sail insisted they 
would all be shot. 

I heard about it and at once rushed to 
Seremban, with the Japanese G. H. Q. decision 
given at Kuala-Lumpur, and after a great deal of 
persuasion I was able to make the Japanese there to 
see our point of view so that future trouble was 
averted. In a similar manner,! visited all Indian 
P. of W. camps in Malaya and ensured that they were 
not coerced to take up arms or undergo any form of 
military training under the Japs. 

At Kaula- Lumpur the Japanese tried to teach the 
Indian P. of W. Japanese foot drill, words of command 
and saluting. I refused to allow them to do so, 
although it will be interesting to know, that the 
English prisoners of war in Rangoon did this. 



i 72 I. N. A. HEROES 

While holding this position I managed to secure 
for the Indian P. of W. excellent living conditions ~ 
very likely the best given to any P. of W. in the Far 
East. 

(a) Food was excellent -eggs, fish, chicken 
and vegetables. 

(b) Work was moderate and pay was given 
regularly. 

(c) There were adequate arrangements for the 
recreation of troops; they played hockey, 
foot-ball, etc. Cinema shows were given in 
camps and troops could go out and see any 
picture by paying 10 cents. 

(d) P. of W. soldiers could go out of their camp 
on a pass given by their unit commanders 
from 10 A. M. to 4 P. M. daily, and on holi- 
days officers could go out in Mufti and visit 
any civilian friends from 10 A. M. to mid- 
night. 

(e) On Fridays Muslims were allowed to go and 
say prayers io the Jumma Masjid, and 
Hindus and Sikhs could go to their respec- 
tive religious places in the town on 
Sundays. 

S. &. M. Men selected for execution 

On one occasion when I was out of the station on 
tour, the Japanese took away 23 N. C. Os. belonging 
to 42 Fd. Pk. Coy R, Bombay S. & M. on the accusation 
that they were too pro-British and selected some of 



MAJOR-GENERAL SHAHNAWAZ 73 

them for execution and made them sign their last 
will. When I returned from tour I found this and 
at once went to the Japanese G. H. Q. and requested 
them to hand over my soldiers to me. I told them 
that I was supposed to be the Commander of Indian 
Troops and that, in principle, it was wrong for the 
Japanese to deal direct with my subordinate officers 
and take -away the men under my command without 
my knowledge. 

Finally I told them that if they insisted on 
doing this I would resign from my appointment. 
They then told me that I could take away 15 of them 
and the rest they said they must execute as they were 
too " Pro-British'' and being Japanese prisoners they 
were still insisting that they had taken an oath to be 
loyal to the British King. They said they could not 
allow such Indians to live, I explained the full 
significance of this oath to them and told them that 
the normal procedure for dealing with any serious 
offence in the Indian Army was to bold a court of 
enquiry and I assured them that I would go very 
thoroughly into the case, and if in the end the court 
found their offence of a serious nature I would myself 
hand them over to the Japanese for punishment. They 
eventually agreed to this and I brought back all the 
twenty-three N.C.Os. safely to their unit, held a court 
of enquiry and released all of them. 

In Dec. 1942 1 was recalled to Singapore. During 
the period of my stay at Kaula-Lumpur as 
commander of P. 0. W. in Malaya. 



74 I. N. A. HEROES 

(a) I served them to the best of my ability. 
Many a time I had to travel by goods train 
without food and had to face insults and 
humiliations from junior Japanese officers 
for the sake of the men I commanded. 

(6) I refused to allow the Japanese to exploit 
in any way the Indian P. O. W* for their own 
ends and at the same time secured for them 
good treatment. 

(c) I always upheld the honour and prestige 
of my country and refused to accept any 
racial superiority of the Japanese. 

W) I also induced the Japanese not to arrest 
any Indian soldiers who had turned civilians 
during the War and were honourably earning 
their livincr. The case of one Sy. Abdul 
Matlab of 2/16 P. R. who had opened a 
tea shop at Sercmbam Railway Station is 
a typical one. 

(<?) At Kaula-Lumpur I helped the Indian desti- 
tute civilians as much as I could. There 
were scores of them dying of starvation. I 
requested all P. O. W. to fast for one day in 
a week and send all the food thus saved to 
them. The Japanese Commander, on coming: 
to know of this/ was so impressed that he 
gave 90 sacks of rice a month for the desti- 
tute camp which we were supporting. 

(f ) At Singapore in May 1943, the 'Japanese 
ordered officers of 2/12 P. F. R, to provide 
three hundred men to do -guard duties over 



MAJOR-GENERAL SHAHNAWAZ 75 

Japanese aerodromes. The men refused to go, 
but the Japanese insisted and it looked as if a serious 
situation would develop. Sub Fazal Dad Khan of 
2/12 F. F. R. then approached me and informed me 
of the critical situation that had arisen. I went to 
the Seletar Camp with Sub. Fazal Dad Khan, talked 
to the Japanese Officer and succeeded in convincing 
him that it was wrong to persuade P-. O. W. to take 
up arms. After this the unit was never troubled 
by the Japs. 

I was recalled to Singapore in September 1942 and 
one of the first things I did was to go and pay a 
visit to all the P. O. W. Camps in Singapore, where 
there were large numbers of men from my area. 
All along during my stay in Singapore I had been 
most concerned about the welfare of the P f O. W., 
whom I quite often used to visit and distribute 
among them my I. N. A. pocket money, and clothing 
and medicine. 

There ,was the case of one P. O. W, Jem* 
Mirsaman, 2/10 Balauch Regt., who had an 
ulcer in the stomach ; the doctor said that he would 
not survive. I took him to my bungalow, kept him 
with me for over 4 months and -through good 
nourishment, completely cured him and the a sent 
him back to rejoin his unit which was still a P. O. W. 
unit. There are several such instances. 

On recall from Kuala-Lumpur, I was appointed 
a Commandant O. T. S. which had to be disbanded 
after a few days, by order of Capt. Mohan Singh, 
who had some misunderstanding with the Japanese. 



76 L N. A. HEROES 

I took full advantage of this situation and to- 
gether with other members of my " Block' 1 persuaded 
Capt. Mohan Singh to disband the I. N. A. I 
did so because I knew that the Japanese were itrying 
to exploit us. 

I joined the 2nd L N. A. in Feb. 1943 -on being 
told that Netaji S. C. Bose would be coming to 
Singapore to take over its command. 

At this time I also realized that whether we 
liked it or not, the Japanese were definitely going 
into India. 

I also realized that the fight would, in all 

probability, be carried into Indian territory as I did 

not think that the British forces would be able to 
stop the Japanese advance. 

I had also seen with my own eyes the indiscrimi- 
nate loo ting and raping in Malaya, and I did not 
wish it to happen in India. I felt that by going into 
India we would be able to stop this, or at any rate, 
I would be much more useful to my country with a 
rifle in my hand to save the life, property and 
honour of Indians, than as a helpless prisoner of war 
in MalayA. 

I, therefore, set about to collect such men for 
the L N. A* who would be prepared to fight even 
against the Japanese if they proved dishonest, and 
this fact has been established beyond doubt even by 
the prosecution witnesses. 



MAJOR-GENERAL SHAHNAWAZ 7T 

jis arrival and its effect on me. 



When Netaji arrived in Singapore, I watched 
him very keenly. I had never seen or met him 
before, and did not know very much about his 
activities in India. I heard a number of his public 
speeches, which had a profound effect on me. It 
will not be wrong to say that I was hypnotized by 
his personality and his speeches. He placed the 
true picture of India before us and for the first 
time in my life I saw India, through the eyes of 
an Indian. 

I was most impressed by his selflessness, his 
absolute devotion to our country, his frankness and 
his refusal to bow before the Japanese wishes. I 
knew that in his hands India's honour was safe ; 
he would never barter it for anything in the world. 
Also when I heard him give a free choice to everyone 
in the I. N. A. to leave its ranks if they were not 
prepared to make extreme sacrifices and his warn* 
ing to those who stayed on in the I. N. A. to be 
prepared to face, "thirst, hunger, forced marches and 
in the end death " and when with my own eyes I 
saw the enthusiasm of thousands 
Indians in the Far East, who 
all that they possessed and 
the Azad Hind Fauj and becaij 
sake of their country. I knew \ 
and when he, in the name 
stricken, unarmed and 




78 I. N. A. HEROES 

to us to come forward and sacrifice our lives for 
their liberation ; no honourable Indian could have 
refused this much to him. 

I found a leader and decided to follow him, and 
for me it was the greatest and the most difficult 
decision of my life, t.e., of fighting against my kith and 
kin f who were, in the British Indian Army in very 
] large numbers, and whom, I was certain, I could 
never induce to see eye to eye with me. 

At the back of my mind was the traditional 
urge of loyalty to the King, I owed all my education 
to him. My family and my tribe were one of the 
privileged classes in India. The y were all prosperous 
and contented. This, too, we owed to the British 
Government and I knew that no change in India 
would bring them any more prosperity. In fact they 
were likely to suffer by it. 

But on the other hand, when I thought of the 
''starving millions'* who were baing ruthlessly 
exploited by the British, and were being deliberately 
kept illiterate and ignorant to make this exploitation 
easier, I developed a great hatred for the system 
of rule in India, which to me, it seemed, was based 
on ''injustice*' and to remove this injustice I decided 
to sacrifice my everything my life, my home, my 
family and its traditions* I made up my mind to 
fight even against ' my brother if he stood in my 
way, and in the actual fighting that followed in 
1944, we actually fought against each other. -He 
was wounded* My cousin and I were fighting each 
other in Chin Hill, almost daily for two months. 



MAJOR-GENERAL SHAHNAWAZ 79 

In short the question before me was the King 
or the Country. I decided to be loyal to my country 
and gave my word of honour to my Netaji that I 
would sacrifice myself for her sake. 

Differential Treatment 

Another thing, which has always upset me, has 
been the difference of treatment between an 
Indian and a British soldier. 

I saw with my own eyes that as far as fighting 
was concerned there was no difference. The Indian 
soldier stood his ground and fought to the last 
Why then there should be so much difference in 
their pay, allowances, food and living conditions I 
have never been able to understand. It seemed to 
me to be extremely unjust. 

Secondly, I would also like to point out that the 
I. N. A. was raised, organized, trained and led in the 
field entirely by Indians. Comparatively junior 
officers commanded Divisions and Brigades ; O., C. Os. 
commanded battalions, and under the circumstances, 
they did not do it " too badly/' But on the other 
hand, out of 2 millions of Indians in the Indian 
Army, not a single officer was given the command of 
a Division, and only one Indian was given the com- 
mand of a Brigade. 

There were some very senior and competent 
Indian officers in the Indian Army, and it appeared 
to me that the laok of talent could not have been the 
reason for more Indians not getting higher com- 



80 I. N. A. HEROES 

mands. This a'so appeared to my mind ta oe very 
unjust 

I was a soldier and once I had taken the decision? 
I concentrated on fighting from the first to the last. 

In September 1943, Netaji decided to select * 
picked Regt. consisting of the cream of I. N. A. and 
send it into action to form the spearhead of the 
advance into India. It was known as "Subhas 
Brigade " and I was selected to command it. The 
Brigade took part in fighting in the Arakan, 
Haka-Falam and in the vicinity of Kohima. 

In December 1944, 1 was appointed Commander 
of No. 1 Division which was at Mandalay then. 

In February 1945, when No. 1 D. Ill H. Q. wa 
at Pyinmama, Netaji came there and told me 
that No. 2, a fresh Division of the I. N. A., was 
moving to the front in the vicinity of Popa, and 
that unfortunately its Division Commander Col. Aziz* 
Ahmed had beed injured in an air raid. He, there- 
fore, ordered me to take over its command. I did so, 
but in April 1945 I had to fall back to Pegu, where 
I was captured by the British forces. 

In joining the I. N. A. I was prompted only br 
motives of patriotism. I fought a straightforward 
and honourable fight on the battlefield, against 
most overwhelming odds. I was further handicapped 1 
by lack of proper medical, transport and ration 
supplies, and for long periods I, with my troops, had 
to live on paddy and jungle grass, when' even salt was> 
a luxury for us. 



MAJOR-GENERAL SHAHNAWAZ 81 

During these operations I, with my men, marched 
over 3,000 miles in Burma 

I gave good treatment to the' British troops r 
whom my soldiers captured, and expected to receive 
the same treatment for my troops when they surren- 
dered as Prisoners of War. 

Finally Sir ! I wish to bring to your notice, and 
to the notice of my country, that no mercenary or 
ouppet army could have faced the hardships as the 
I. N A. did. We fought only for India's Independ- 
ence. 

I do not deny having taken part in the fight but 
I dkl so as a member of the regular fighting forces of 
the Provisional Government of Free India who waged 
war for the liberation of their motherland according 
to the rules of civilised warfare and to whom the 
status of belligerency had been accorded by the 
British Forces opposing us. I, therefore, committed 
no offence for which I can be trifed by a Court Martial 
or by any other Court. 

As for the charge of abetment of murder, even if 
the facts alleged by the prosecution were true, I 
could not be held to have committed any offence. 
Mohd. Hussain, who had voluntarily joined the 
I. N. A. and submitted himself to its discipline, 
admittedly attempted to desert and to induce others 
to desert at a very critical juncture. If he had suc- 
ceeded in his attempt he would have carried .all 
information about the force under my command to 
the British, which would have meant complete dig- 



82 I. N. A. HEROES 

aster for us. Under the Indian ^National Army Act 
and under the Military Codes of all civilised nations, 
the offence attempted to be committed was the most 
serious and heinous one punishable with death. It is, 
however, in fact wrong that I sentenced him to death 
or that he was shot in execution of a sentence passed 
by me. Mohd. Hussain and his companions were 
only informally produced before me, there being no 
.crime report drawn up. I only very strongly ad- 
monished Mohd. Hussain and told him that he had 
committed an offence for which he could and should 
be shot. I t however, left the matter there and asked 
the case to be put up again before me or the Regi- 
mental Commander who had in the meanwhile been 
vested with the power to try such cases, if the men 
concerned attempted to misbehave a second time. 
The case never came up before me again presumably 
because the contingency never arose. 



PART If 

COL. P. K. SAHG AL 



II 

COL. P. K. SAHGAL 
AZAD HIND FAUJ 

(1) 

LIFE STORY 

1. Born on the 25th March 1917 at Hoshiar- 
put (Punjab). 

Father. Mr. Justice Achhru Ram, a lawyer from 
Jullundur. 

Mother. Shrimati Rattan Devi from Hoshiarpur. 

Early childhood. Mostly spent at Jullundur 
was very much interested in the Arya Samaj in the 
early days. Attended the 1929-30 Congress session at 
Lahore. At that time a student of Doaba High School, 
Jullundur. On return from Lahore took active part 
in the non-co-operation movement and was an active 
member of the Jullundur Students Union. 

Move to Lahore. End of 1930, my father 
moved to Lahore to practise at the High Court and 
the whole family moved with him. I matriculated 
from the Central Model High School, Lahore, in 1932 
and joined the Government College, Lahore. 

Government College and the Indian Military 
Academy. I passed my intermediate in 1934 
and . in 1935 Sat for the competitive examination of 

85 



86 L N. A. HEROES 

entrance to the Indian Military Academy, Dehra Dun. 
I was successful and joined the L M. A. in 1936. I was 
commissioned with effect from the 29th January 1938 
and after attachment with a British Unit, I was posted 
to the 5th Bn. of the Baluch Regiment. 

Malaya. In 1940 I was transferred to the 
2nd Bn. of the Baluch Regt. and sailed for Malaya with ' 
the Bn. in October 1940. I landed in Singapore on the 
llth November 1940 and after a stay of about a 
fortnight there, my Bn. moved to Kotah Bharu in 
Kalaatan State on the North-East Coast of Malaya. 
At the end of November I was promoted an Acting 
Captain. 

Kota Bharu. Soon after our arrival in 
Kota Bharu my Bn. was allotted the task of beach 
defences and throughout 1941, we spent most of our 
time preparing these defences. I was commanding a 
company which was given the task of defendin g 
eleven thousand yards of the beach. 

Malayan Campaign* The Japanese landed in 
Kota Bharu on the night of the 7/8th December 1941. 
By the morning of the 9th Japanese occupied Kota 
Bharu aerodrome and the town. At midday on 
the 9th I was allotted the task of commanding a 
mixed force which was acting as rear guard to my 
brigade. On the llth I rejoined my Bn. and we 
fought our way down the Mainland of Malaya. 
During this rime the Company distinguished itself ia 
action on more than one occasion. 

Battle of Singapore. We crossed the Johore 
crossway on the night of 30/31st January and on arrival 



COL. P. K. SAHGAL 87 

in Singapore we were sent to the vicinity of the 
Sambawatig aerodrome, with a counter-attack role in 
case ot landing on the East Coast. The Japanese 
landed in Singapore on the morning of the 8th Feb. 1942. 
The initial landing took place in the part of the front 
which was held by the Australians and it was pre- 
ceded by a very heavy artillery barrage. The 
Australians did not stand up to the Japanese onslaught 
and fell back in disorder. On th> 10th my Bn. 
moved out to counter-attack and llth Ind. Div. to 
which my Bn. belonged drove the Japanese back into 
the sea but as the Australian front had completely 
collapsed, therefore we also had to fall back. My Bn. 
was involved in heavy fighting throughout the battle 
of Singapore. I was captured by the Japanese on 
the 14th February and Singapore surrendered on the 
15th Feb. 

Ceremony at Farrear Park. On the 10th Feb. 
all the Indian troops were marched off to the Farrear 
Park, where on the 17th they were handed over to 
the Japanese by Lt. Col. Hunt. The Japanese in 
their turn handed the Indians over to Capt. Mohan 
Singh, G O. C, I. N. A. 

Prisoner of War. On the 18th Feb* my Bn. 
went to Neesoin Camp where I met Lt. Col. N. S. 
Gill. Orf the 19th Lt. Col. Gill told me that he was 
going to form a headquarters in the Neesoin camp 
to administer the Indian prisoners of war and asked 
me if I would like to take charge of the Adjutant 
General's branch of this R Q. I agreed and 



88 I. N. A. HEROES 

accordingly posted to the H. Q. in that appointment. 
My work consisted of keeping the records of Indian 
Officers and soldiers and preparing nominal rolls or 
other routine returns which were demanded by 
Captain Mohan Singh's H. Q. I continued to carry 
out these duties until these H. Qs. were dissolved. 

Bidadari Resolutions. In April 1942, Capt. 
Mohan Singh and the companions returned from 
Tokyo and a conference of Senior Officers was held 
in Bidadari Camp. I was present at this conference. 
Four resolutions which later came to be commonly 
known as Bidadan resolutions were passed and Offi- 
cers and men were asked to volunteer on these 
resolutions. I did not trust the Japanese and I also 
felt that there was no sense in asking Officers and 
men to volunteer on the basis of those resolutions. I 
was of the opinion that if volunteers are to be asked 
for, they must be asked for participation in Indian 
War of Liberation. Therefore I refused to accept 
these resolutions and went to Tengali Aerodrome 
camp which was a non-volunteer camp. When rep- 
resentatives were going to Bangkok, I was asked if I 
would like to go. I refused to go because I thought 
that these people were wasting their time and nothing 
substantial would ever come out of all these 
conferences. 

Joining the I. !A(. A. Delegates from the 
Bangkok Conference returned to Singapore in the 
month of July and at the end of that month Capt. 
Mohan Singh sent for me and asked me to assist in 



COL. P. Kt SAHGAL 89 

the organisation of the I. N. A. I consented to do so 
and later realising that Capt. Mohan Singh really 
meant business, I volunteered to join the I. N A. I 
finally made up my mind to join the Indian National 
Army because I felt that the Japanese were absolutely 
determined to go to India and if they were accom- 
panied by a really strong I. N., A. the Japanese would 
not be permitted to commit the same atrocities as they 
had committed in Malaya and other countries in 
East Asia and also if they did not honour their pledges 
regarding Indian Independence, a well armed and 
organised I. N. A. would be in a position to put up an 
armed opposition against them. After joining the 
I. N. A. I was posted to H. Q. 1st Hind Field Force 
: Group where I stayed until the I. N. A. broke. 

Crisis in the I. J{. A. The I. N. A. under 
orders of Gen. Mohan Singh was broken at the end 
of December 1942. I was one of the few officers 
who were opposed to the idea of breaking up the 
I. N. A. I was convinced that if we broke up the 
I. N. A. Japanese would revive a puppet army, 
through which they would be able to exploit the 
Indians. I was also of the opinion, that having once 
-started an Indian Independence movement, we had 
no excuse for inaction, specially when the Indians 
in India had asked the British to quit and the British 
were employing every possible weapon of oppression 
-to break their indomitable will to be free. Mr. Rash 
Behari Bose further clarified the issues and the news 
that Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose was coming to the 



90 i. N. A. HEROES 

Far East, finally helped the majority of the Officers 
and men of the I. N. A. to reorganise the I. N. A. 

Directorate of Military Bureau. The I. N. A. 
was reorganised under the Director of Mili- 
tary Bureau and I was appointed the Military 
Secretary in the Directorate. 

Arrival of T^etajL On arrival of Netajt 
the Directorate of Military Bureau was reorganised 
into H.Qs. Supreme Command and I continued in my 
post of Military Secretary. In the course of my 
duties I came into very close contact with Netaji 
and soon became one of his closest and most trusted 
associates. 

Arrival in Burma. Netaji with the Head 
Quarters of the Provisional Government moved 
to Rangoon on the 6th January 1944. I followed; 
him and reached Rangoon on the 20th January. H. Q. 
Supreme Command was set up in Rangoon and I 
being the senior most Officer present in the H. Q. 
took charge ot them, in addition to my duties 
of Military Secretary ; I was also performing the 
duties of Assistant Chief of Staff and Deputy Adjutant 
General. In February came the news of the wonder- 
ful exploits of the I. N. A. in the Arakans. Sooa 
afterwards No. 1. Division moved towards the 
Manipur front. 

Mamiyo. Netaji left Rangooa on the 8th April 
and moved to Mamiyo with the members of the Provi- 
sional Government preparatory to going to ImphaL 
Lt. Col. Habib-ur-Rahman arrived in Rangoon 01* the 



COL. P. K. 8AHGAL 91 

6th April and I handed over the charge of the H. Q~ 
in Rangoon to him. On the 15th April, I went to 
Mamiyo and stayed with Netaji and I returned to 
Rangoon on the 5th May. 

Rangoon Again. I once again took charge 
of the H. Q. in Rangoon and Col. Habib-ur-Rahmau 
went to the front. Netaji returned to Rangoon in 
June 1943. I stayed in Rangoon with H. Q. Supreme 
Command until October 1943. During this time 
No. 1. Division had to withdraw back and I was 
responsible for making arrangements to meet their 
requirements on arrival in the back areas. Arrange- 
ments had also to be made to prepare No. 2 Division 
which was arriving in Burma, to move to the front. 
In September Netaji returned to the front to meet 
No. 1 Division and on h?s return we had long 
discussions about our future action. Netaji was 
determined that in the coming operations No. 2 
Division must give a good account of itself and he 
wished to send his most trusted Officers with the 
Division. I had been carrying out staff work ever 
since the inception of the I. N. A. and was very keen 
to participate in active operations ; therefore I 
requested Netaji that I should be given command 
of No. 5 Grla. Regt. in No. 2 Division which was to 

be reorganised into 2 Inf. Regt. 


In October 1943 Netaji went to Japan to confer 

with the new Government of Japan. At the end 
cff October I left Rangoon to go to the front to 
visit units No. 1 Division. I returned to Rangoon 



"92 L N. A. HEROES 

in the beginning of December and left the H. Q. 
Supreme Command on the 9th December 1944. 

3\to. 2 Inf. Regt. I took over command 
of No. 5 Grla. Regiment on the 10th December 1944. 
Later on I organised this regiment into an Infantry 
Regiment which meant the addition of some 600 
men and certain new weapons such as Mirtans into 
the Regiment. Intensive training was carried out to 
.enable the regiment to fight as a field regiment in 
War. 

On assuming the command ot my regiment, I 
spoke at great length to the Officers and men of 
ach unit under my command. I told them that 
they should have no illusions as to what was in store 
for them when they went to the front. I 
impressed on them that in the front line they must 
be prepared for hunger, thirst, conditions of great 
hardships and great dangers and finally death. Any- 
one who was unwilling or unfit to face these condi- 
tions was given the option of staying behind at the 
base and a certain number of men who were either 
unwilling or unfit to proceed to the front were 
left behind in Rangoon and no action whatsoever 
was taken against anyone. 

T^ietajfs Inspection. On the 26th January 
1945, Netaji inspected my reginlent in Rangoon and 
warned them regarding the hardships and dangers 
in the front line and once again anyopp who did not 
feel himself mentally or physiclly -jj&j&p proceed 
to the front was given the o 





COL. P. K. SAHGAL 9$ 

Move to the Front. On the 28t?h January,, 
my regiment started its move to the front. The 
regiment was moving in parties of 250 Officers and 
men which left Rangoon every alternate day, by 
train. I left the same night by car for Pruna. At 
Pruna I made arrangements regarding transport 
and ration, etc,, for the second stage of the journey 
(from Pruna t3 the front) which the whole division 
was doing on foot. 

On the 31st at Pruna I issued the administrative 
orders for the second stage ' of the move for the 
whole division. 

On the 3rd February I came back to Rangoon, 
and on the 4th reported to the Supreme Commander 
the arrangements I had made for the move of the. 
whole division. 

On the 8th February I was notified by H. Q: 
Supreme Command that the role of my regiment 
was the defence of Popoa Hill. 

On the 12th. February there was heavy bombing 
in Rangoon in which Col. Aziz Ahmed, the Divisionat 
Commander, was injured; therefore I took charge 
of the advance H. Q. of the Division ] which was- 
also moving to Popoa. 

I left Rangoon on the night of the 13th Feb. 
and the next day I spent at Saku Army H. Q. 
(Japanese Army H. Q. under whose unified command" 
my division had been placed for operational purposes). 
I discussed the war situation in Burma with Major- 
General Iwakuro, the Chief of Staff of Saku Army 



4 L N. A. HEROES 

We also came to an agreement as to how No. 2 
Division could best fulfil its role. * 

I arrived in Yomayang, the H. Q. of the Yoma- 
moto Division, which was operating in the left of the 
Sector allotted to No. 2 Division. On the 17th 
February, here I learned that the British had already 
crossed the Irrawadi river and that No. 4 Grla. 
regiment of the I. N. A. had been badly wanted. I 
discussed with Major-General Yomamoto the 
measures to be adopted to meet the new situation 
and I immediately returned to Popoa. 

Popoa Area. I arrived at Popoa in the early 
morning of the 18th, and met Maj. G. S. Dhillon 
who had withdrawn there with the remnants of No. 4 
Grla. regiment. From him I learned the details of 
what had taken place on the Irrawadi River. I gave 
him orders to immediately reorganise his regiment 
and get them ready for battle and with all available 
men of my regiment I took up a defensive position 
covering Mount Popoa and also issued instructions to 
carry out intensive patrolling in the whole area. 

On the 22nd Feb Col. Shah Nawaz came to 
Popoa and told me that he was going to take over 
command of the division. I acquainted him with the 
current situation and on the 23rd he left Popoa to 
report the situation to the Supreme Commander 
who was in Meikhlu area. The day after Col. Shah 
Nawaz reached Meiktila ; that town was attacked 
by the British and Shah Nawaz could not get back 
to Popoa therefore once again I assumed temporary 
command of the division. 



COL. P. K. SAHGAL 95 

On the 295fd Feb. I received orders from the 
Saku army to carry out Guerilla Warfare in frogt of 
Mount Popoa to help the Japanese forces which 
were counter-attacking; the British forces east of 
Irrawadi. I detailed No. 4 Grla. regiment for this 
task. 

Just about this time Khanji regiment of the 
Japanese army arrived in Popoa to help in the 
defence of Mount Popoa. An agreement was arrived 
at with the Command of the Khanjo regt. according 
to which he assumed the responsibility of holding 
the road Popoa Myingyian and my regiment took 
up defences in the Popoa Pynbin and Popoa Kyank 
Padaung roads. 

During this time the enemy was also carrying 
out active patrolling in our areas and there were 
many clashes between ours and their patrols ; but 
the enemy patrols never stopped to give fight. This 
had a wonderful effect on the morale of the Officers 
and men under my command. 

On the 1st March I sentenced S. O. Ganga 
Saran to death because he had refused to go out 
with a patrol when ordered to do so by his Battalion 
Commander. Later realising that he was capable of 
doing good work, I cancelled the punishment. 

On the early morning of the 2nd March* five 
officers from the Divisional Headquarters deserted and 
went over to the enemy. They carried with them full 
information about our organisation, arms, equipment 



96 I. N. A. HEROES 

and disposition. This was a great blow and had a very- 
bad effect on the morale of the Units, 

After the desertion of these officers I became 
certain that the enemy would take full advantage of 
the knowledge of my weak points and with the small 
garrison at my disposal I could not possibly defend' 
Papoa effectively against an organised attack by the 
British. Therefore I decided that in my case 
offensive was the best form of defensive and I issued, 
intructions to carry out sorties into the enemy occupied 
areas. The enemy seemed to be very chary to give a. 
pitched battle to any of our attacking units with the 
result that the morale of the officers and men went up 
very high. 

On the 4th March a fighting patrol of my 
regiment put to flight an enemy patrol and captured 
two Jeep cars and a wireless set and a quantity of arms 
and ammunitions. . 

On the 5th March enemy about 500 strong 
supported by tanks approached the position held by the* 
1st Battalion of my regiment. This enemy was met by 
two Platoons (total strength about 40 men) and after- 
trying to get past them, during the whole day, 
withdrew back in the evening. 

On the 12th March Col. Shah Nawaz came to* 
Papao and took over command of the Division. 

CJn the 13th Dhil Ion's regiment went into attack 
and drove the enemy out of Tongram area. 

On the 15th March I went to Pynbin with tw<y 
Companies from my regiment to attack the enemy 



COL. P, K. SAHGAL 97 

positions. The attack was coming out at night and 
the enemy on our approach left their positions and ran 
away. We encountered only one patrol which was 
annihilated. In this action the men marched &0. miles 
through desert, attacked four enemy, positions, all in 36 
hours and on one gallon of water per head for drink- 
ing, cooking and washing purposes. 

On the 20th March Col. Shah Nawaz ordered 
me to undertake .the defence of.Kyank Padam Meiktila 
road, because the enemy threat from that side had 
become very menacing. I sent the 2nd Battalion of 
my regiment for that task. f 

On the 21st March Capt. Bagri with one 
Company of the 3rd Bn, ot my regiment went to 
Kalyo area and made contact with a mechanical column 
of the enemy supported by tanks and artillery. The 
fight lasted for about one hour'and then the enemy 
withdrew back. 

On the 23rd I went to inspect my Bn. positions 
on the Kyank Padang - Meiktila Road. I also carried 
out detailed reconnaissance of that area and sent a 
patrol to Meiktila to bring back detailed information 
of the enemy disposition in that area. On receipt of 
this information I was convinced that if we could drive 
the British out of Meiktila, then it would be a simple 
affair to clear the enemy from our own area. I also 
had information that the Indian troDps of the British 
forces at Meiktila were likely to join us if tackled proper- 
ly. Therefore I prepared plan of attack in Meiktila by 
our force and submitted it to my Divisional Commander 



Sfi L N. A. HEROES 

who agreed to it. Unf orunately Meiktila was outside our 
Divisional area and the Japanese did not agree to our 
carrying out an attack in the sector. They thought 
that they were strong enough to deal with the enemy 
in that sector, on their own. 

On the 27th March I got orders to attack Pynbin 
in co-operation with the Japanese and No. 4 Grla. 
Regiment. 

On the night of the 29th March I left Popa with 
an advance party in a car and a truck. Remaining 
troops fo^pwed on foot. Near Seiktin my party was 
ambushed and one battalion of the enemy opened fire 
on us from about 25 yards. I had 14 bullet holes in 
the radiator of my car. We had to abandon our 
vehicles and fall back. But soon, we counter-attacked 
with one Company of No. 1 Battalion, and as our 
troops went into attack, the enemy abandoned their 
positions and ran away. We recovered all our 
vehicles. 

The troops undeir my command took up a delen- 
sive position in Lagyi area. On the morning ot the 
30th an enemy battalion came to Seiktin area about 
1500 yards away from my position. This battalion 
Ispent the whole day tiring ineffectively towards us 
but did not approach anywhere near us. 

On the 31st an enemy mechanical rolumn attack- 
ed and surrounded a Japanese Company in Kaleyo. 
One Company of my 3rd Battalion under the com- 
mand of Capt. Bagri attacked and drove away the 
British forces and *managed to bring back Japanese 



COL. P. K. SAHGAL 99 

wounded officers and aaen who had been abando ,ed 
by the Japanese. 

On the evening of the 2nd April an enemy force 
about 2000 strong, supported by tanks and artillery 
approached my detences from two directions, but 
when our troops opened fire the enemy withdrew 
back. 

Earlier in the day thirteen enemy planes bombed 
and machine-gunned my defences for about 40 minutes 
and afterwards enemy artillery kept on firing at us 
until 9 P.M. that night. 

One enemy lorry approaching our position was 
captured. 

On the 3rd April, one complete British Division, 
supported by 13 medium tanks, 30 light tanks and 30 
armoured cars and field and heavy artillery started an 
attack on our position. Our force consisted of No. 1 
Battalion and one Company of 3rd Battalion. Our 
only defence against the enemy tanks were our 
suicide squads consisting of men volunteered to tie 
explosives round their body and crash into enemy 
tanks, thus blowing them up. 

Enemy's first attack against my 4 B' echelon in the 
rear was successful and the enemy came in behind me 
cutting me off from Popa. 

After that the enemy made four determined 
efforts to attack and break through from my right 
flank and one attack was made to break through in 
the left flank, but all these attacks were beaten back 
with heavy casualties to the enemy. Throughout the 
day we were under very heavy artillery fire. 



100 I. N. A. HEROES 

In the evening I collected two platoons and at- 
tacked the enemy Battalion which had got it* behind 
me, this attack was entirely successful and the enemy 
was driven back. 

By that night the troops under my command were 
tired and completely exhausted. So arrangements were 
made for one Japanese Battalion to move up and re- 
lieve my units. 

I reached Popa in the morning of the 4th April. 

Withdrawal from Popa. Qn * the 5th April 
owing to the general situation in Burma, No. 2 Div. 
I. N. A. was ordered to move to Magwe and Natrauk 
Tandangwyi areas. My regiment was to move to 
Tandangwyi and Natmuk areas and the Div. H. Q. 
and No. 4 Grla. regiment were to move to Magwe 

area, 


The withdrawal commenced on the 9th April, 

Units of No. 4 Grla. regiment were the first to with- 
draw. On the morning of the llth, the British forces 
occupied Kyank Padaung and our direct line of with- 
drawal was cut off. Therefore it was decided that the 
Division Headquarters, remainder of No. 4 Grla. 
regiment and No. 2 Inf. Regt. would attempt a break 
through along the jungle route that very night. In 
the evening the enemy attacked and surrounded one 
of my Companies which was on outpost duty and all 
efforts to relieve them were unsuccessful. Later on I 
was informed by a British Intelligence officer that the 
attacking British Force sent a note to me of ,the 
Havildars commanding a platoon to surrender. The 



COL. P. K, SAHGAL 101 

platoon Havildar of the I. N. A. wrote on the back of 
the note that had been sent to him, * 4 Mr. I do not 
come," and his platoon died fighting to the last man. 

The withdrawal was carried out on the night of 
the llth and although the units were ambushed on the 
way, they managed to assemble in the , Kyank 
Pudaung Meiktila road by the morning ot the 12th. 

On the afternoon of the 12th I receiv >d a note 
from the Commander of my special service Company, 
whom I had sent on ahead, informing me that a very 
strong Mechanical British Column had already moved 
from Meiktila towards Natmuk. I placed the inform- 
ation before the Divisional Commander and we both 
agreed that my regiment should move along the 
bullock cart tracks and if we found Natmuk under 
enemy occupation, we were to head further soutri. 

On the night of the 12th I separated from the 
Divisional Commander, who headed for Magwe 
and I went towards Natmuk. 

On the 17th April I divided my force into two 
columns, one column under Capt. Bagri went on ahead 
and the second column was under my personal 
command. 

On the 13th morning I arrived in the vicinity of 
the Natmuk Magwe. road. I had already received 
information that Natmuk was in enemy hands and 
that an enemy column was moving towards Magwe. 
I decided to break through the enemy positions that 
night. Both the columns managed to do so quite 
safely. After another 3 nights' march we approached 



102 I. N. A. HEROES 

Taundangwyi Magwe road, and found die enemy in 
possession there also and once again we broke through 
his positions. Now I ordered the regiment to head 
for AUanmys. 

Capt. Bagri after breaking through the enemy 
position for the second time moved one day's march 
ahead of my column. At Yamatha Captain Bagri's 
column came into contact with an enemy mechanical 
column supported by tanks and armoured cars. 
Captain Bagri destroyed two tanks and two lorries* 
and inflicted about 50 casualties on the enemy. Capt. 
Bagri himself made the supreme sacrifice in this battle 
and on his death Lt. Sher Singh took over command 
of his column. After the incident at Yamatha the 
column under Lt. Sher Singh got on the main road 
and withdrew back to Prume, where it came under 
the command of Lt. Col. B. S. Nagi, my second in 
command, who had been sent there with the advance 
party. 

The other column undey my command was unable 
to get on the main road, but proceeded along the 
track following the Irrawadi river. I got information 
that one enemy Brigade was following behind me and 
that another mechanical column, i.e., 20th British 
Indian Division, was moving along the main road 
towards Allanmys. My column reached the vicinity 
of Allanmys on the 27th and the same day Units of 
the 20th British Division occupied Allanmys, Realis- 
ing that it was not possible to get through that way 
I fell back about 10 miles to Magyigaon. 



COL. P. K. SAHGAL 103 

On the 28th at Magyigaoti I called a coafefence of 
all the officers under my command and acquainted 
then; with the whole situation. I told them that there 
were three courses open to us : 

(a) Break through enemy line and make our way 

to Pegu Yomas. 

(b) Turn into civilians. 

(c) Surrender to the British. 

I explained to them that I t for myself, had decided 
on tha first course and I would, with those who wished 
to follow the same course, attempt a break through 
that night but I would not stand in the way of any one 
who wished to follow any of the alternative courses. 
I orderded them to explain everything to the men 
under their command and intorm me regarding their 
decision. Eventually two hundred officers and men 
volunteered to follow me and about three dundred 
said that they wished to surrender and about 50 wished 
to turn civilians and those people were allowed to go 
away immediately. 

I made all arrangements to break through that 
night and issued instructions for the others under Maj. 
Chatterjee's command of the hospital to surrender to 
the British Forces the next day. 

In the atternoon I was attacked by a Gurkha 
column which had been following us. Now it became 
impossible to break through and as the majority of the 
officers and men wished to surrender therefore 
I wrote a letter to the Allied Commander offering 
the surrender of the Officers and men updgr my 



104 1. N. A. HEROES 

command as prisoners of war. I sent this letter 
through Capt. Santa Singh, who also carried a flag 
of Truce. 

The officers and men who were with me had 
marched over three hundred miles of desert in enemy 
occupied areas. The only food available was what we 
could carry on ourselves and we had been constantly 
menaced by enemy aeroplanes. On four occasions 
we had broken through the enemy lines and by now 
we were completely exhausted, 

The British Commander accepted our surrender 
and we laid down our arms to the 4/2nd Gurkha Rifles. 
If the British Commander had not accepted our 
surrender as Prisoners of War, the officers and men 
under my command were determined to fight on till the 
end. 

Captivity. On the evening of the 28th Lt. Col. 
Kiterh ordeted the officers to be separated from the 
men and when I spoke to him about this, he pointed 
out that this was the usual procedure with the Prisoners 
of War. Otl my giving an assurance to him that if he 
allowed my officers to stay with their men for that 
night only, I would hold myself responsible for the 
conduct of the officers to rejoin the men. 

That night the guerillas were attacked by the 
Japanese but there was no incident among my men, 
al thought our surrendered arms and ammunition were 
stacked quite near us. 

Oft the morning of the 29th I was first taken to 
H. Q. 32nd Brigade and later H. Q. 20th Div. Two 



COL. P. K. SAHGAL 1Q5 

British and two Indian soldiers were detailed as guards 
on us, but I was permitted to keep my bat. men 
with me. 

On the 31st April I was sent to a Prisoner of War 
Cage in Magwe and later the officers and men who 
surrendered with me also arrived there. Here I also 
learned that the other column under Lt. Col. Nagi 
had been captured near Pegu and taken to Rangoon. 

At Magwe, I was interrogated at 2 F. I. C. on the 
12th May. I left Magwe by air and landed at Dohazani 
and from there was taken by train to Chittagong. On 
the 13th I was taken by train from Chittagong to 
Ziggergaru near Calcutta. I left Ziggergacha by train 
on the 18th and was brought to Red Fort, Delhi, on 
the 20th. I was kept in a cell during interrogation 
up to the 7th June and was then moved to the cage. 



(2) 

REASONS FOR JOINING THE I. N. A. 
Background. 

My father had taken an active part in the 1920- 
21 non-co-operation movement and from him I in- 
herited an intense dislike lor the alien rule. Added 
to this my own study ot History and Political Science 
taught me that complete freedom was the birth-right 
cf every human being and it was the sacred duty of 
every Indian to tight for the liberation of his mother- 
land. In 1930, I got the first opportunity to partici- 
pate in the non-violent struggle for Indian Independ- 
ence. I was far too young and immature to under- 
stand the real significance of non-violence. I was 
only carried away by the urge to do something vital 
for ray motherland and I followed the creed because 
it had been decreed by the Indian leaders. I did not 
fully understand the views expressed by various Indian 
leaders, but I felt certain that if we all did our bit,, 
victory shall certainly be ours. When we failed to 
achieve our coveted goal, I felt disillusioned. To me 
it seemed futile that my countrymen and women 
should have to make such terrible sacrifices and en- 
dure such sufferings, fighting against an Imperialist 
power, which was determined to keep India in her 
bondage. I felt that the only language the British 

106 



COL. P. K. SAHGAL - 107 

would ever understand was violence. The terrorist 
movement in India appeared to me to be too weak, 
and unco-ordinated to achieve anything vital. I did 
not know what to do and felt at a loose end and even- 
tually decided to wait and allow coming events to 
decide my future action. 

My father had intended me to follow in his pro- 
fession of law and I was attracted by it. About 1932 
the Government of India issued their scheme for the 
Indianisation of the Army. It was a new and attrac- 
tive opening for the young men of India and I made up 
my mind to try my hand at soldiering. My plans 
were quite naturally opposed by my family, but I 
stuck to my decision. My father consoled himself 
by thinking that, owing to my bad record with the 
police, I would never be accepted in the Army. How- 
ever I was successful in the open competition exami- 
nation and went to the Indian Military Academy m 
1936. Although I had often dreamed of a military 
rebellion in India, but when I joined the army, I had 
no set plan, my only ambition was to become a success- 
ful soldier. 

Atter being commissioned, I did a year's attach- 
ment with two British Units and I grew to like the 
average type of Englishman. I made many friends 
and I found that I could get on well with most 
Englishmen. A vast majority of my English friends 
were very ignorant about conditions in India but they 
were quite willing to learn. I did not consider myselt 
too well informed on the subject, but whatever little I 



108 I. N. A. HEROES 

knew, I told my friends and found them sympathetic. 
Once an average Englishman was convinced that 
the Hindus and Muslims would not fly at each other's 
throat, as soon as the British had turned the: - backs 
on India. He was-prepared .to admit that it was sinful 
for the British to stay in India* 

After finishing my attachment with the British 
Units I joined the 5th Bn. of the Baluch Regt. 
Majority of the officers :in the Bn. were Indian and 
politically conscious. There was hardly anyone among 
the officers, who wished for the continuance of the 
British rule. 

End of 1940 I was transferred to the 2nd Bn. of 

the Baluch Regt., which was not an Indianised Bn. 

There was a very good set of British officers in this 

Bn. and I made a number of friends. The "C. O." 

was specially kind to me and always listened to my 

-advice and it was seldom that he rejected any of 

my requests. But I met a number of other Indian 

officers who were not quite so fortunate as I was. They 

were badly treated by their commanding officer and 

'brother English officers. 

Malaya. 

I arrived in Malaya at the end of 1940 and was 
horrified to learn the contempt and hatred shown 
towards the Indians who had settled down there. 
The following three reasons were mainly responsible 
ior this : 

(a) The British had always used Indian soldiers 
and policemen. 



COL P. K. SAHGAL 109* 

(b) The Indian money-lenders in Malaya were 
reputed to be worse than Jews. 

(c) The Indian workmen in Malaya accepted 
lesser wages than the workmen of other 
races. 

I also found that colour distinction in Malaya 
was much worse than in India. Asiatics 
were not admitted into clubs and hotels and an 
' Asiatic was not permitted to travel in the same 
railway compartment as a European. There were 
certain Europeans who started a press campaign in 
the Singapore press advocating that Asiatics should 
not even be permitted to travel in the same buses 
and trams as the Europeans. 

End of December 1942, my Bn. moved to Kotaba- 
lim in Kelantem State. On arrival there I found that 
the local population was absolutely terrified of the 
Indian soldiers. I soon discovered the reasons for it 
At the end of ^the First World War, there was an 
uprising in Kota Bharm and the British sent a com- 
pany of Punjabi troops to quell the rebellion. These 
Punjabi troops were very brutal in their dealings 
towards the local Malays. The following incident 
will clearly show, how much the Kotablan people 
hated the Indian soldiers 

I became very friendly with the Deputy Prime 
Minister Dato Steim of Kelantam State, One day I 
was sitting with him, when his litde son came run- 
ning and started talking to his father in an excited 
manner. I asked the Dato what the matter was and 



110 I. N. A. HEROES 

lie explained to me that his son was very angry to 
see him talking to me, a Punjabi (Kota Bham Malays 
called every Indian soldier a Punjabi) because, accord- 
ing to the little boy, all Punjabies were wicked and 
the enemies of the Malays. 

I and a number of other officers did our best 
to bring about a better relationship between our 
soldiers and the Malays, I was very lucky in having 
a number of very good friends among high Malay 
officials who were of . great help and by the time the 
war started, the relations between our soldiers and the 
Malays had become really cordial. The Malays are 
.a charming people but they do not care a great 
deal about their political future. However, I found 
-that the educated Malays resented the inferior social 
status that was accorded to all Asiatics in Malaya, 
by the British. 

In June 1941, we heard the news of the firing in 
the Indian labourers and the British action was natur- 
ally resented by all Indians. I often discussed the 
British Imperialistic ways with the other British 
officers in my regiment and expressed my opinion 
that the British preached one thing and practised 
another. 

Witness. Lt. Col. P. W. Davis The Baluch 
"Regiment. 

The Malayan Campaign. 

By the end of November 1941, it became obvious 
that war with Japan was imminent. I had read about 
:tbe Russo-Japanese war and admired the Japanese 



COL.> P. K. SAHGAL 111 

for the courageous manner in which they had fought 
and defeated the Russians. The remarkable progress 
that the Japanese had made in a short time and the 
way that the Japanese had risen to be a first class 
power, in spite of the opposition of all the great powers 
of the world, was in my opinion a wonderful achieve- 
ment and worthy of praise. But I hated them for 
their aggression against China and the cruel atrocities 
that they had committed in .China, Manchuria and 
Korea. 

The British propaganda about their war aims 
had also impressed me and I felt that their democra- 
tic and ^iberal form of government was far to be 
preferred to the Fascism of the Axis. In any case I 
felt that if the British won the war they would be 
compelled to meet Indian's demand for freedom and if 
they were defeated, we would achieve our object 
through a negotiated pact. 

Therefore, when the war started, I fought loyally 
and to the best of my ability. The company which I 
commanded, distinguished itself in battle on more than 
one occasion and whenever there was a difficult 
mission to be carried out, I was invariably single4 out 
for it. I had the full confidence of my C.O. and the 
Brigade Comdr. both of whom often commended the 
work done by my company. 

During the campaign, I felt very much disappointed 
in the British leadership. The British strategy had been 
a complete failure and the top leaders stood discredit- 
ed. The behaviour of many British officers ^a far 



112 L N. A. HEROES 

from correct, instead of leading their men, they seem 
to be more concerned with thjir own person 
comfort and safety. The callous manner in which t. 
interests of the Asiatic people of Malaya were d 
regarded hurt me terribly. We had not only let dov 
the people whom we were supposed to protect b' 
they were also subjected to many insults and hardshr 
and often exposed to great danger because of the i 
solent and callous behaviour of the British office! 
Many Asiatics, including a number of Indians, wei 
shot without any trial, on the suspicion of being eneir 
agents. 

The fall of Singapore finally convinced me of tfc 
degeneration of the British people and I thought the 
the last days of the British Empire had come. 
February to September 1942. 

After the surrender of Singapore, I felt terribl 
let down by the British, who had handed us over to tb 
Japanese and told us to obey their orders the sana 
way as we had been obeying the orders of the Britisl 
I felt that if a British general could be forced to agre 
to such a handing over, the British nation must hav 
such a pretty low level. 

I also felt that the British were not in a position t 
check a Japanese invasion of India. Little attentio 
had been paid to the preparation of the defence i 
India's North Eastern frontiers and the best India: 
troops had been sent out on service overseas. Th> 
British officers and men during the Malayan Gampaigr 
had shown a marked disinclination to fight for 



COL. P. K. SAHGAL 113 

preservation of the overseas possessions of the British 
Crown. 

In spite of my disillusionment with the British. 
I was far too distrustful of the Japanese and their inten- 
tions. I was horrified by the atrocities committed 
by the Japanese, and their economic exploitation of 
Malaya clearly showed the hollowness of their bom- 
bastic claims about the Greater East Asia Co- 
Prosperity Sphere and their war for the liberation 
of the Asiatic people. 

I was in sympathy with Capt. Mohan Singh's cause 
but I did not think that we could do any good to 
India hy allying ourselves with the Japanese. That 
is why, I did not accept che Bidadari resolution and 
refused to attend the Bangkok conference. 

The Bangkok Conference. 

In July the delegates from the Bangkok con* 
f erence returned to Singapore. This conference was 
the first concrete step that had been taken in the 
Indian Independence movement. The international 
character of the Bangkok conference and the exhibition 
of the spontaneous desire of the Indians in the Far 
East to fight for Indian Independence, were most 
encouraging. I was also impressed by the resolution 
passed at the conference. These factors together 
with the following other considerations influenced 
me to join the LN*A* c 

(a) It was quite evident that. an Indian National 
Army was going to be raised and if the really 
sincere and patriotic officers kept out of it, 
it would be quite easy for the Japanese to 



I. N. A. HEROES 

exploit their army. On the other hand, if 
the army was strong enough and had the 
moral courage to oppose the Japanese, then 
the Japanese would not be able to take an 
unfair advantage of the I. N. A. 
(fc) The Japanese appeared to be absolutely 
determined to invade India and we knew 
that the British in , India were not strong 
enough to resist such invasion. Therefore, 
it was our duty to organise and make 
ourselves as strong as possible. So that when 
we accompany the Japanese into India, we 
shall not only be in a position to protect our 
countrymen and women from the cruelties 
of the Japanese but we should also be in a 
position to put up armed resistance against 
the Japanese if they did not honour their 
promises. 

(c) The Indians in East Asia had been left, by 
the British, at the mercy of tne Japanese . 
These Indian were also hated by the Chinese 
and other Asiatics, therefore it was our duty 
to organise ourselves to provide protection 
for the two jnillion Indians of East 
Asia. 

(d) General Tojo and other members of. the 
Japanese Government -had made repeated 



COL. P. K, SAHGAL 115 

announcements about the Indian indepen- 
dence, whereas the British Imperialists had 
turned a deaf ear to all demands by^ the 
Indian Nationalists. Also, from the general 
behaviour of the Japanese it appeared that 
they were really sincere about Indian Inde- 
pendence movement. 

<e) On the 8th of August 1942, the Congress 
Working Committee passed their famous 
"QUIT INDIA" resolution. To us it was 
tantamount to declaration of war on the 
British. When the Indians in India had 
declared war on the British Empire, what right 
had we to remain idle ? Our countrymen and 
women in India had decided to wage an 
unarmed and non-violent struggle against the 
weight of the British Empire and another 
Empire had offered us the arms and the 
opportunity to fight the British Empire and 
we naturally accepted it. 

Soon came the harrowing tale of* the British 
oppression in India. Our blood boiled when we heard 
that the i British had bombed their peaceful 
cities and villages, fire had been opened on peaceful 
processions and innocent women and children were 
killed, Indian women were insulted and beaten by the 
British soldiers, a number of villagers in East 
India were laid waste and burned by the soldiers 
of the mighty British Empire and the oppression 
of the most horrible form, reminiscent of the 



116 I. N. A. HEROES 

medieval times had been let loose to break the will of 
India to be free. 

Iq these circumstances the historical urge, to be 
free to smash the people who had inflicted such pain 
and suffering on the men and women of my country 
asserted itself and I willingly volunteered myself 
to fight the British Imperialism for the freedom of my 
motherland. 

Wiinesses. Capt. R. M. Arshad, Capt. J. W. 
Roderques and Capt. G. M. Hussain. 

Crisis and the Second I. !A. A. 

In December 1942, there was a crisis in the I. N. A. 
The main cause was the distrust of the Japanese and 
the fear that they would exploit the I. N. A. 
for their own ends. Majority of the officers were in 
favour of breaking up the I. N. A., but I was 
against it. I was of the opinion that in the I. N. A. 
lay our only strength and if we broke it we would be 
playing the Japanese game because, they would cer- 
tainly raise a puppet army and use it to further their 
own purposes. I advocated that we ought to change 
our own ranks and strengthen the movement. We 
ought to make ourselves so strong that the Japanese 
would be forced to meet our demands. Another 
danger of breaking the I. N. A. was that we would 
have exposed the two million Indians in East Asia to 
the dreadful vengeance of the Japanese. In any case I 
thought it was sinful for us to sit idle and do nothing, 
while our countrymen and women in India were 
undergoing such terrible sufferings in their ftaactoed 
struggle against the British. 



COL. P. K. SAHGAL 117 

In the beginning there were very few who agreed 
with :ne, but the Japanese soon showed their hands 
They began propaganda to raise a puppet army from 
amongst the civilians and certain prisoners of war. This 
caused a change of views among the majority of the 
officers who decided to reorganise the I. N. A. At this 
stage we were determined not to repeat the mistakes 
which we had committed in the previous I. N. A. 
Admissions to the new I. N. A. were made purely 
voluntary and only those officers and men were 
asked to join who were willing and prepared to 
fight the Japanese as well as the British, if they stood 
in the way of Indian Independence. The Japanese 
also realising the value of a really sincere army, 
gradually gave up their ideas of raising an alternative 
army and agreed to most of our demands. 

News that Mr. Subhash Chandra Bose was coming 
to the Far East to take over the leadership of the 
Indian Independence movement, removed all our 
remaining doubts and we joined the I. N. A. whole- 
heartedly. 

Witnesses. Capt. R. M. Arshad. Capt. S. M. 
Hussain 

Arrival of T^etaji 

To say that Netaji s arrival in the Far East put a 
new life into the movement is putting it very mildly. 
His presence in East Asia electrified the Indian people 
and there was a spontaneous and overwhelming 
response to his demands for total mobilization of 
men and material 



118 I. N. A. HEROES 

1 had the good fortune of making very close to 
him and came completely under his spell. I differed 
from him on many points and never hesitated to point 
out these differences to him. He invariably listened 
to me sympathetically and if I was right he did not 
hesitate to admk it. In course of time I became one of 
his closest associates and had the privilege of being in 
his complete confidence. He bestowed so much love 
and affection on me that he became more than a 
commander to me he became my cherished friend and 
guru. In April 1944 I spent a fortnight with him in 
Mayrayo. At that time he did not have very 
much work to do and every night he used to send for 
me in his room and talk to me until the early hours of 
the morning. That has been the greatest and the best 
education that I have ever received. 

One of the greatest lessons he taught me was that 
it was our duty to fight and sacrifice ourselves for the 
freedom of India, but it was selfish to wish for the 
freedom to come in our life-time. He pointed it out to 
me that to work for Indian Independence and hope to 
see her free was not enough, our work and sacrifices 
must be free from such selfish thoughts. Our fight 
was for the 400 million peoples of India and our great- 
est reward would be to lay down our lives so that 
coming generations of India could live the lives of 
free men and women. This gave me a new angle from 
which to view our Independence movement. I also- 
realised that our struggle was only one phase of the 
great struggle that had been . going on within India, 
since the battle of Plassey. The final outcome of the 



COL. P.K.SAHGAL 119 

world war. that was then going on, receded in impor- 
tance. I was a soldier whose job was to continue 
fighting till the end and have unshakable faith in final 
victory. Then it became clear that chances of an 
Axis victory were slender, the ideal keot me from 
being depressed. The same ideal urged me, at the end 
of 1944, to volunteer to go to the front and take an 
active part in the operations. There was little hope 
then of advancing into India, but I did not want to 
miss the opportunity of actively fighting the enemies of 
India. My dearest wish was granted and my regiment 
was pitted against a purely British division. 

In my opinion the sanctity of our cause did not 
permit that any one should be kept in our ranks against 
his wishes, therefore, before my regiment moved to 
the front I gave every one the option of staying 
behind if they were unwilling to go to the 
front. On arrival at the front I once again gave 
the officers and men under my command, the option 
of going back if they did not wish to participate in the 
fighting and I also showed my willingness to permit 
people to go over to the enemy if they were desirous 
of doing so. 

The officers and men under my command fought 
valliantly against the heavy odds. In every encounter 
with the enemy, they came out victorions. I can say 
with pardonable pride that the traditions of courage 
and selfless devotion to duty that these officers and 
men have created, the future of a National Army of 
India would do well to follow. They were small ia 



120 , I. N. A. HEROES 

number and poorly equipped, and they fought a 
gigantic army equipped with the .most modern 
weapons. But these men were inspired by the sanctity 
of their mission and their loyalty to India and their 
leader Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose. These inspired 
their spiritual strength against the material strength 
of their enemy. Many of them made their supreme 
sacrifice in the execution of their duty. I would have 
considered it a great honour to have died with my 
comrades in the field of battle but this privilege has 
been denied to me. 



(3) 

THE TRIAL AND EXECUTION OF 4 MEN OF 
NO. 4 GRLA. REGIMENT. 

War Situation. By the beginning of March 
1945, the war situation in Burma had become most 
critical for us. Mandalay and Meiktila had already 
fallen. There was a danger of enemy advance from 
Meiktila -towards Kyauk Padang and our forces on 
the Meiktila Kyauk Padaung road were far from 
adequate to check such an advance. 

One enemy column was advancing towards 
Tangthu, which was the Head Quarters of the 
Japanese Division on our right. 

On our own front the enemy was in position 
in Pyibin and Tamgran both places only about 20 
miles from Popa. Enemy patrols had approached 
Kyauk Padang and within 6 miles of Popa. A full 
scale enemy attack in Popa was expected at any 
time. 

No. 4 Grla. Regt. could produce only nine hun- 
dred men for action and only half of No. 2 Infantry 
regiment had arrived in Popa. These troops were 
far from sufficient to defend Popa and Kyauk 
Padang against an enemy attack. Nor were the 
defence work in Popa anywhere near completion. 
We were bluffing the enemy by constant offensive 

121 



122 I. N. A. HEROES 

action in his own area and revelation of our weak* 
nesses and the true state of defence could have been 
suicidal for us, at that stage. 

State of Wo. 2 Division. On the 1st of March 
1945, 4 senior officers of H. Q. No. 2 Div. had 
deserted from Popa and they had carried with them 
full information regarding the strength, arms, equip- 
ment and dispositions of the I. N. A. units in Popa 
and Kyauk Padang areas. Their desertion was a 
terrible blow to the morale of all ranks of the I. N. A. 
in Popa area. After their departure it had become 
very essential to adopt very severe measures to check 
any more desertions, 

No. 4 Grla. Regiment had taken /a long time to 
recover the blow that it had received in Nayangu 
and Pagan. The discipline in the regiment was not 
quite satisfactory and unless stern action was taken 
against all cases of indiscipline the morale and the 
fighting efficiency ot the regiment would have suffered 
^considerably. 

No. 4 Grla. Regt. was reviewed by Netaji in 
Rangoon before it proceeded to the front (May 1944) 
and an option to stay behind was given to anyone 
who did not wish to proceed to the front. On 
assuming the command of the regiment, Lt. Col. G. S. 
Dhillon repeatedly spoke to the officers and men 
under his command and told them that those who 
were unwilling to go into the battle, should let him 
know and he would arrange to send them back to 
the rear areas and no disciplinay action would be 



COL. P. K. SAHGAL 

taken against them. He went so far as to say that if 
there was anyone who did not wish to openly confess- 
his unwillingness to stay in the front line, he could 
be sent back under the' excuse of some physical ail- 
ment. 

In December 1944, eightdeserters of No. 4 Grla. 
Regt. were captured and brought up before Col. G. S. 
Dhillon. He pardoned them all, but warned his 
officers and men that no mercy to such people shall 
be shown in future. 

Before the regiment moved to Nayangu-Pagam 
area a number of men who were unwilling to 
participate in the battle were sent back without any 
disciplinary action being taken against them. 

After the battle of Pagam a letter was received 
from the Supreme Commander, directing the I. N. A. 
Commanders in the field that no mercy should, in 
future, be shown to deserters and those who show 
cowardice in the face of the enemy. The contents 
of this letter were made known to all ranks of the 
regiment, and once again the members of the regiment 
were informed that those unwilling to stay en in 
the front line, could go back to the rear areas. They 
were also warned that henceforth no mercy whatso- 
ever will be shown to those who either desert, or 
show cowardice in the face of the enemy. 

The desertion. In accordance with No. 4 
Grla. Regt. operation order No, 2 (Exhibit SSS) No. 2. 
Bn. at the end of Feb. 1945, established a Grla. 
activity in Tamgrin area. 



124 L N. A. HEROES 

On the 28th Feb. Sub-Officer Khiali Ram and 
iive men deserted from No. 2 Bn. and went into 
hiding in a Burmese village. They wrote a letter in 
Urdu and Roman Hindustani, -offering their surrende * 
to the British and promised to give them valuable 
information about the I. N. A. dispositions. They 
gave this letter to the village head man, to take it 
to the British Commander in that sector. The village 
headman, instead of taking the letter to the British, 
delivered it to the Coy. Commander of the deserters. 

The Company Commander concerned sent a 
patrol to recapture the deserters. The patrol sent 
-surrounded the village and the deserters opened 
iire on the patrol. However all the deserters except 
the sub-officer, who had got away, were captured. 
One of the captured deserters later tried to run 
away, but was shot by the guard. 

The Trial The deserters, sepoys Duli 
Chand, Hari Singh, Daryao Singh and Dharam Singh, 
were produced before their Bn. Commander who 
investigated their case and sent them to Popa for 
trial by the Regimental Commander. 

The Regimental Commander once again investi- 
gated the case and being satisfied that the men had 
actually committed the crimes for which they were 
charged, he handed them for trial by the officiating 
Divisional Commander. 

The case was brought before me as I was 
the officiating Divisional Commander, on the 6th 
March 1943. 



COL. P. K. SAHGAL 12& 

The men were charged with desertion and 
attempting to communicate with the enemy. The 
accused pleaded guilty. Lt. Col. G. S. Dhillon inform- 
ed the Divisional Commander that he had repeatedly 
offered the chance of returning to the rear to those 
persons, who did not want to remain in the front 
line and that no one in his regiment was made to 
participate in battle against his wishes. The accused 
admitted that they had been given this option and 
that they had not taken advantage of it and they 
also admitted that they had been given the warning 
that all deserters would be shot. 

After due investigation, I, as Divisional Commander,, 
sentenced the four accused to death. Consideration 
of tne existing war situation and the fact that the 
accused were in a position to give a valuable infor- 
mation to the enemy about our dispositions, precluded 
any merciful treatment of these men. 

Powers of Punishment. According to the 
I. N. A. Act, the Supreme Comd. of the I. N. A, 
had unlimited powers. Vide his letter dated 21st 
February 1945, he vested the Divisional Commander 
with th> powers to give death sentence. On the 3rd 
March the Supreme Commander had sent me a 
telegram vesting me with full powers of punish- 
ment. 

After the desertion of the four senior officers 
of the Div. Hqrs. the Supreme Comd. vested all 
Commanders in the field with full powers of 
punishment. In addition orders were received that even 
a sepoy could shoot anyone found trying to desert. 



(4) 

LETTER OF SURRENDER 
To 

The Allied Commander, 

I, with five hundred officers and men of the 
Indian National Army under my command, wish to 
surrender to the Allied Forces as "PRISONERS 
OF WAR " 



(Sd.) P. K.SAHGAL, 
Lt. Col. 

28th April 1945. 

Comd. No. 2 Inf. Regt. I. N. A. 



126 



(5) 

8ATEMBNT IN THE COURT 

I deny being guilty of any of the offences with 
which I have been charged. I also maintain that my 
trial before this Court Martial is illegal. 

After serving one year's attachment with a British 
Regiment, I joined the 5th Battalion of the Baluch 
Regiment in February 1940. In October 1940 the 
O. C. of my unit was asked to send a suitable officer 
to fill up the vacancy of a Company Commander in 
the 2nd Battalion of the same Regiment which was 
proceeding overseas on active service. I was specially 
chosen for being posted to the 2nd Battalion. 

I disembarked at Singapore with my new unit on 
llth November 1940. A fortnight later we were sent 
to Kota Bharu in Kelantan State, where we were 
entrusted with the task of the preparation and 
manning of beach defences. Major-General Murray 
Lyones, then Commander ot Northern Area in 
Malaya, Major-Gen. Barstow, Commander of the 9th 
Indian Division, Lt. Gen. Heath, the Corps Com- 
mander, and Lt. Gen. A. E. Percival, G. O. C M Malaya 
Command, inspected our work and complimented me 
on the very remarkable work done by my Company. 

During the Malayan Campaign, the Company that 
I commanded distinguished itself in more than one 

127 



128 1. N. A. HEROES 

encounter with the Japanese. Although, generally, we 
were fighting a retreating battle, on occasions we 
were able to take the offensive and inflict very heavy 
losses on the enemy. On one occasion my Company 
annihilated a Japanese Force, approximately 500 
strong, and captured a large quantity of enemy arms 
and equipment. This incident was noticed in the 
Press. 

During the night of the 30/31st January 1942, we 
crossed the Johore Baru Causeway and reached 
Singapore. Although my Battalion had been in 
action without a break from the day the hostilities 
started and had suffered heavy casualties, and its 
officers and men were completely exhausted, and their 
morale was low owing to constant withdrawals and 
intense enemy air activity, they had immediately to 
undertake the defence of Singapore. 

The Japanese landed in Singapore on the 8th 
February and on 10th February we marched out to 
counter-attack the enemy and drove them back into 
the sea in the Wood-lands area. Unfortunately, the 
next day we were ordered back to relieve the Aus- 
tralians in the Mandai Hill area. While we were 
moving along the Mandai Road, the Japanese launched 
an attack. The Australians abandoned their positions 
and ran away and the Japanese got possession of the 
high features on both sides of the Road. We were 
caught on the Road and my Company, which was the 
leading Company of the Battalion, suffered most 
heavily. My Company Subedar and three other men 



COL. IV 1C. SAHGAL 

of the Company H. Qr$. were killed within five 
minutes. The Company Head Quarters were cut off 
from the rest of the Company and although the 
Japanese beckoned my men to go over to them, I 
managed to reassemble* in an hour or so. the whole- 
Company except three or four men whom the 
Australians had taken away with them. The Company 
was completely separated from the rest of the 
Battalion and we continued fighting on our own utitil 
the afternoon when we managed to rejoin the 
Battalion. The same night we were withdrawn to 
Neesoon where we stayed for twenty-four hours. The 
Japanese made three or four determined attacks to 
break through our positions but we did not allow a 
single Japanese to go through and the enemy lost 
three medium tanks in the engagement. During the 
night of the 12/13th February we were withdrawn to 
Biddadari where we eventually surrendered. 

As we were withdrawing southwards on the 
mainland of Malaya, I was of ten approached by the 
Indians living in those areas. They all asked me the 
same question : " You are leaving us behind, what is 
going to become of us ? We contributed all we could 
for the defence of Malaya and now why do you leave 
us at the mercy of the enemy ? The Chinese and 
Malays all hate us. They will loot and plunder our 
property, disgrace our women and murder us." 
There was little that I could do, . or even say, to help 
them. The only thing that I could tell them was to 
trust in God, and to hope for the best. My heart 
went out in sympathy to them but I felt helpless and 



130 I. N. A. HEROES 

ashamed because I was unable to do anything for 
them. 

On 17th February 1942, in a meeting held at the 
Ferrar Park in Singapore Lt. Col. Hunt, as the repre- 
sentative of the British, handed over the Indian 
Officers and men, to the Japanese like a flock of 
.sheep. This came as a great blow to us all. The 
Indian Army had fought bravely against the heaviest 
odds, and in return the British High Command had 
left them completely at the mercy of the Japanese. 
We felt that the British Government had, on its own, 
cut off all the bonds that had bound us to the British 
Crown and relieved us of all obligations to it. The 
Japanese handed us over to Capt. Mohan Singh, who 
was styled as the G. O. C. of the Indian National 
Army and we were left free under him to fashion our 
own destiny. W bona fide believed that the British 
Crown having ceased to provide any protection to us 
could no longer demand allegiance from us. 

After formally taking over the Indian Officers and 
men, Capt. Mohan Singh proclaimed his intention of 
raising an Indian National Army for the liberation of 
India. He was acclaimed by all those who were 
present there and they all raised their hands to show 
their willingness to job the Army. 

When call for volunteers was made by Capt. 
Mohan Singh, large numbers of officers and men came 
forward to enlist. There were, however, some who 
while equally desirous to see their motherland free 
from all foreign domination, were sceptic of the in- 



COL. P. K. SAHGAL 131 

't , 

tentions of the Japanese in encouraging the formation 
of the Indian National Army, and I was one of them. 
I had a feeling that the Japanese only intended to 
exploit the propaganda value of the proposed Indian 
National Army but had no desire of helping the cause 
of Indian freedom. I, therefore, in spite of my moSt 
ardent desire to see my country free at the earliest 
possible moment, refused to volunteer. In May 1942 
volunteers were separated from non-volunteers and I 
with my Battalion was sent to the Tengan Aerodrome 
Non-volunteer Camp where I stayed as a non- 
volunteer till the end of August 1942. During this 
period no pressure of any kind was brought to bear 
upon me or other officers or men in my camp 
numbering about ten thousand to volunteer for the 
I. N. A. The rations provided to us were, considering 
the prevalent circumstances, quite good and medical 
aid was satisfactory. 

In June 1942, 1 was invited to attend the Bangkok 
conference but I declined the invitation. However 
during the period between June and the end of 
August 1942 events of very far-reaching importance 
took place which compelled me to revise my earlier 
decision to keep out of the Indian National Army. In 
the first place, the Japanese forces met with the most 
astounding successes in every theatre of the War and 
an attack on India appeared to be imminent. Every 
one thought that the Indians would soon be exposed 
to a Japanese onslaught and even the B. B. C. London 
sent them messages of sympathy in their coming 
misfortune. The last Indian drafts that bad arrived 



132 I. N. A. HEROES 

} "'''..''.' , 

to reinforce Singapore . Consisted only of raw recruits 

and gave pne a fair indication of the type of men 
available for the defence pf India. Officers who 
came to Singapore shortly before its surrender told us 
that there was no modern equipment available for the 
army in India. I was told that the soldiers were being 
trained with wooden rifles and light machine guns and 
that the defences of the. North Eastern borders of 
India were almost non-existe,nt. Every one of us telt 
convinced that if the Japanese invaded India, there 
was none to resist their advance. This was a most 
distressing thought for all of us. 

In the second place, on the 8th August 1942 f the 
Congress Working Commitee passed the famous "Quit 
India" resolution. Countrywide demonstrations 
followed the passing of this Resolution. The All-India 
Radio Delhi and B. B. C. drew a curtain over the 
happenings in India. However, certain secret stations, 
supposed to be functioning somewhere in India, and 
the Japanese and other Axis-controlled Radio Stations- 
outside India broadcast freely about these happenings 
and the measures taken by the Government to suppress 
the freedom movement. From the; da tails broadcast by 
these stations a veritable reign of terror, -similar to 
the one that had followed the Revolt of 1857, seemed 
to have set in. In view of the complete reticence of 
the British and the Indian Press and the official broadcas- 
ting agency on the subject, we had no reason to doubt 
the correctness of these broadcasts. Needless to say 
that they filled us with most terrible anxiety concerning: 
our near and dear ones whom we had left behind and 



COL. P. K. SAHGAL 133 

the bitterest resentment against the British 
Imperialism wbiich seemed to be bent upon keeping 
our country under perpetual subjection. 

I and those of my friends, with whom I was on 
initimate terms, every day discussed amongst ourselves 
the very critical situation then existing in India and 
the best way in which we could help her. We knew 
only too well the fate that would be in store for our 
countrymen when a new foreign power invaded India. 
The British Government claimed the sole responsibility 
for the defence of the country and had with contempt 
rejected the offer of her own leaders to take charge 
of and organise such defence. The information we had 
about the state of the defence in India was by no 
means encouraging and the most optimist amongst us 
could not be sure of the ability of the British to stop 
the Japanese advance. The civilian population could 
not even think of organizing any resistance and must 
submit to untold sufferings and hardships. The 
"scorched earth policy" which the British Government 
had already decided upon, and even begun to follow, 
must add very considerably to the disaster. After 
protracted discussion the only solution that we could 
think of for.our country's problems was the formation 
of a strong and well-disciplined armed body which 
.should march into India side by side with the Japanese 
army, and while fighting for the liberation of India 
from the existing alien rule, should be able and ready 
to provide protection to their countrymen against any 
possible molestation by the Japanese, and to resist any 
attempt by the latter to establish themselves as rulers 



134 * I. N. A. HEROES 

of the country in place of the British. This beinf 
also the avowed object of the Indian National Army, 
the question that began to agitate the minds of us, who 
had so far stayed away from that Army was whether 
it was not our duty to join that^Army for securing the- 
freedom of our country not so much from the British 
who could hold her no longer but from the Japanese- 
who were bent upon invading India. The protection- 
that the Indian National Army had already been able 
to give to Indian life, property and honour in Malaya^ 
and Burma saemed to furnish another very strong, 
argument in favour of joining it. 

For days I passed through a terrible mental 
struggle. On the one side was my loyalty to my former 
comrades with whom I had fought shoulder to shoulder 
and on the other was the urge to save my mother- 
country from the horrors that stared her in the face. 
After a great deal of careful thought and deliberation 
I came to the conclusion that I must join the Indiaa 
National Army, which must be built up into a strong r 
well-armed, well-equipped and disciplined force* 
dedicated to the cause of India. Every soldier of the 
Army must be prepared to make the supreme sacrifice 
for the sake of India, and the Army must be prepared* 
to fight even the Japanese if they attempted to harm 
the Indians or to establish themselves^ in India. 

I did not join the I. N. A. through any fear of 
Japanese ill-treatment or from any ulterior or mercenary 
motives. In September 1942, as an I. N. A. Captain I 
only received eighty dollars a month whereas, if I had 



COL. P. K. SAHGAL 135 

stayed out of the I. N. A. I would have received one 
hundred and twenty dollars a month. 

I joined the I. N. A. from purely patriotic motives. 
I joined it because I wanted freedom for my 
motherland and was ready to shed my blood for it. 
Another reason why I joined it was that I wanted to 
safeguard the honour of Indian women and the lives 
and property of my unarmed countrymen in Burma, 
Malaya and India. I joined for a noble cause and I 
never stooped to coerce -or even to persuade any one 
to join the I. N. A. against his wishes. So far as I am 
aware, nobody ever coerced any one to join the L N. A. 
The recruitment to the L N. A. to my knowle Jge was 
purely voluntary. The evidence given by the prosecu- 
tion on this point is false, In any event, I had nothing 
to do with any of the alleged atrocities and have no 
knowledge about them. From the very beginning I 
was convinced that our strength lay in our selfless 
devotion to our cause and my aim was that our army 
should be composed of only those who were willingly 
prepared to shed their blood for Mother India. For this 
very reason, before proceeding to the front, I explained 
at great length to the officers and men under my 
Command the noble ideals for which the I. N. A. had 
been raised and I also told them the grave dangers, 
difficulties and hardships that lay in the way of the 
fulfilment of those ideals. I warned every man that if 
he was not willingly prepared to fight and suffer for 
those ideals he need not proceed to the front. Many 
who did not consider themselves physically or menta Uy 
fit to- participate in the operations decided to stay 



136 I. N. A. HEROES 

behind They were not subjected to any force or 
humiliations nor were they punished in any way. They 
were all transferred to the Reinforcement Grout) and 
left behind in Rangoon. On arrival on the front line, 
I gave another chance to those who did not wish to 
continue in the front line to return to the base. Tliose 
who took advantage of this offer were returned to 
Rangoon without being punished. 

When I arrived in Popa, as I did not consider it 
honourable that any men should be kept in the ranks of 
the units under my command and made to fight against 
their wishes, before going into action, I expressly and 
publicly told all the men under my command that such 
of them as were desirous of going over to the British 
could do so at that time provided they left their arms 
behind and went in one organized party whom I 
assured a safe conduct through our lines. 

I count a number of Englishmen and women among 
my very best friends. Against the English people I never 
cherished any enmity. To the officers and man under 
my command I had issued explicit instructions that any 
prisoner of war captured by them, be he of any 
nationality, was to be treated kindly. 

Till the end of November 1944, I was Military 
Secretary in the Headquarters Supreme Command, 
I. N. A., and for a time officiated as Assistant Chief 
of the Staff. la December I was given the command 
of a Regiment which fought in the Popa Area. I 
took part in this figt*t a$ > a .member of the regularly 
organized fighting forces *f the Indepi>dent Pro* 



COL. P. K. SAHGAL 137 

'visional Government of Free India which fought 
according to the rules of civilized warfare for the 
liberation of my motherland from foreign rule. I 
claim that in doing so I committed Ho offence. On 
the other hand I have served my country to the 
best of my ability. I claim further that I am en- 
titled to all the privileges Df a Prisoner of Wr. 
In my Note of the 28th April, 1945, to the Com- 
mander of the British Forces to whom I and the 
Officers and men fighting under my command sur- 
rendered at Magyigaon, (the receipt of which Note 
is admitted by the Headquarters, Bahadurgarh Area, 
in their letter No. J 900/50, dated 1 2th October 1945, 
but which was stated in the letter to be "unavail- 
able") I said quite plainly that we were ready to 
surrender only as Prisoners of War. On receipt of 
this Note, surrender was accepted without objection 
to the terms on which we had offered to surrender 
,and after the surrender we were actually treated as 
Prisoners of War. Had we been told that surrender 
on the terms offered by us was not acceptable to 
the British Commander, we were determined to fight 
on and were in a position to do so because we were 
nearly six hundred strong, fully armed and equipped, 
-and each one of us was prepared to shed the last 
drop of his blood for the sake of his country* 

From the 13th February to the 12th March 1945, 1 
was officiating as Divisional Commander in the ab- 
sence of Col. Shah Nawaz Khan. In my capacity 
as Divisiopal Compander I had to try on 6th March 
' {iafi Singh, Duli Ch^nd, Daryao 



138 I. N. A. HEROES 

Singh and Dharam Singh who had been committed! 
for trial by Col. G. S. Dhillon for offences of deser- 
tion and attempting to communicate with the enemy, 
under Sections 35 and 29 (c) of the Indian National; 
Army Act. They were found guilty and were sen- 
tenced to death. The sentence was, however, not 
carried out, the convicts, like many others who were 
similarly tried and sentenced about that time, having 
been pardoned on their expressing regret and giving 
an assurance not to misbehave in future. The factr 
of the sentence having been passed, was, of course,, 
used for its propaganda value in order to deter others, 
from deserting. 

Even, however, if the sentence had been carried 
out, I could not be charged with the offence of 
abetment of murder. The four culprits had volun-> 
tarily joined the I. N. A. and had submitted to its, 
discipline, and had voluntarily atid willingly agreed 
to participate in the coming fight. They, having, 
shamefully deserted while in action and in the face 
of the enemy, had committed an offence punishable 
with death under the Indian National Army Act and 
under the Military Law all the world over. The 
information which they sought to convey to the- 
enemy would have meant the complete annihilation' 
of the entire force under my command. The sen- 
tence was passed after proper trial in the exercise of 
authority lawfully vested in me. 

Although the Indian National Araiy failed to* 
achieve its primary object of liberating India, every; 
one of us has the satisfaction that it fully accom- 



COL. P. K. SAHGAL 1 

plished its objective of protecting Indian life, pro- 
perty and honour in Malaya, Burma and other parts 
of South East Asia against all aggressors. The tele- 
grams that I have received, after the commencement 
of this trial from the President of the Indian 
Christian Association Rangoon and the President of 
the Burma Indians' Association and which I am 
attaching to this statement bear ample testimony to 
this. 



PART III 

COL. G. S. DHILLON 



Ill 
COL. G. & DHILLON. 

AZAD HIND FAUJ. 
(1) 

LIFE STORY 
Parentage 

Father S. Thaker Singh Dhillon, V. A. S. t 
retired from the Army after a 
long service of 32 years. 
Mother : Shrimati Karani Kaur Dhillon. 
^Brothers : 

(a) The eldest, Gurdial Singh Dhillon, is a 

Jemadar Head Clerk in the Army. I have 

learnt that he has asked for his release 

from the Army because of my trial. 

(6) The elder, Balwant Singh Dhillon, is also 

a Jemadar in the R. L A. S. C. 
(c) The younger, Amrik Singh Dhillon, is a 

Ranger in the Forest Department. 
Home Address: Village Chak No. 32, 
P. O. Chhanga Manga, Tehsil Chunian, 
Dt. Lahore. 

Childhood. Born at Algon in Lahore Dis- 
trict in March 1914. My first recollections are those of 
Base Remount Depot. Deolali, where father was 
.a Head Veterinary Surgeon. loused to take great 

143 



144 I. N. A. HEROES 

interest in watching incoming and outgoing troops* 
and a large number of horses. 

Education . I went to different institutions as- 
below : 

Primary. (<z) A private tutor at Deolali. 

(b) Primary School, Chhanga 
Manga. 

(c) Middle School, Pattoki. 

(d) Primary School, Chak 32. 

School. X#) Govt. High School, Chunian. I 
joined the Boy's Scouts Move- 
ment. 

(6) Govt. High School, Dipalpore. 

(c) D. B, Middle School, Raewind. 

GO Victoria Dalip High School^ 
Solan in Bhaghat State (Simla). 
I continued scouting in this SchooL 

(*) D. A.V. High School, Mont- 
gomery. It was in this school 
that I became interested in the 
Congress Non-cooperation Move- 
ment, and -started wearing; 
Khadar, writing National poetry, 
but a very early end was put to 
it by father who was a pro* 
British and anti-Congress. My 
inward sympathies, however, con- 
tinued for the Congress. 

I also took interest in learning about Arya Samai 
and am one of its admirers up to to-day. 



COL. G. S. DHILLON 145 

College. Gordon Mission College, Rawalpindi* 
My subjects were those of Medical Group with an 
intention to join Medical College. I did not pass the 
F.Sc. examination and eventually could not join the 
Medical profession. I have always missed the pro- 
fession ever since. 

In this College I got a chance to learn about 
Christianity, a religion I 'have always liked. Through 
a Muslim friend, a son of a Judge, I learnt a great deal 
about Islam and ever since have admired the religion. 
In short I have no religious prejudices. 

In the Army. Failure to join the Medical profes- 
sion, in spite of father's wish to try again, caused a 
great disappointment. I did not want to be a burden 
to him any longer, and requested him to allow me to 
join the Army. He agreed and I was enlisted as a 
recruit on 2^th May 1933. 

Recruiting was a difficult job, but I passed the 
course with very good marks. The training at 
Ferozepore ended on 24th Feb. 1934, the day I was 
attested and sent to join ray active Battalion 4/14 
Punjab Regiment, then at Lahore. 

A Sepoy. As a sepoy, my Platoon Com- 
mander a Sikh Subedar kept me in the background 
because I was educated and belonged to a different 
district from that of his. Uneducated V.C.O s used to 
be very prejudiced against educated persons. A Muslim 
Jemadar Head Clerk was very kind to me during these 
difficult days and because of him, I selected to do an 
N. C. O. Training Course lasting 3 months. Luckily 



146 I. N. A* HEROES 

I stood first in this course and was promoted Tern. 
Acting Unpaid Lance Naik due to the shortage of 
N.C.O'S. 

A Mule Driver. Being in a light machine gun 
section, I had to take my turn to look after the section 
mule. Our mule (No. 36) was notorious for being the 
most troublesome animal in the transport lines. It had 
killed one man by kicking at a certain vital part of 
the body and had wounded many. None of my section 
fellow sepoys wanted me to do this job, but Platoon 
Commander wanted me to stop from attending evening 
classas in the Brigade, so that I may not pass the First 
Class English Examination which was to be held in the 
near future. His scheme worked according to plans, 
and as 1 had to attend the mule in the morning as well 
as in the eveaing, I missed classas and so could not take 
the examination. 

During these days my wife Basant was staying with 

me in the married quarters. Disgusted with life, one day 

I told her that I was going to resign from the Army. 

She did not like my idea, and advised me to take 

permission from father. It so happened that while we 

were discussing this problem father turned up. 

I quietly told Basant to make no reference regarding 

my resignation to father, and myself went out to bring 

some milk. On my return father smiled at me and 

informed me that he" was ashamed of a coward like 

myself. Basant had informed him about my intentions. 

He told me that he would ask my Platoon Commander 

to transfer me. I requested father not to do so, for 

my pride could not stand that ray father should beg 



COL. G. S. DHILLON 147 

for anything from a person so mean as my Platoon 
Commander. On this he said, " If you are so proud, 
then why are you crying ? " With tears in my eyes- 
I replied that I would continue to be a mule driver, 
but in case I was killed or wounded he should not 
repent. " Never, " said he and continued 4 * I have 
spent my life in horses and mules, take a tip that 
whenever you go to har give her * gur ' or * roti ' 
and she would become very tame " Father left that 
very evening. I acted on his advice and the mule 
became as tamed as a dog. I started liking the animal, 
now I had not to fear her, for she would follow 
me like a dog and bag for "gur" or "roti" by placing 
her neck over my shoulders or rubbing her nose on my 
chest. 

Another difficulty left was, cleaning two sets of 
saddlery which I used to take to my quarter, where 
Basant would clean it and polish it so nicely that I 
always got a " shabash " from the transport officer. 
But poor Basant's hands used to bleed because of this 
rough work, yet she would not let me help her. She 
would say, " The time you want to spend on this work 
can better be spent in reading and writing so that on 
a day you could join the Indian Military Academy, 
Dehra Dun." She also used to clean my rifle and 
personal equipment for me, she became so efficient that 
she could criticise my turnout if there were any faults 
and promise it good. 

Poverty as a Sepoy. Basant stayed with me for only 
about 5 to 6 months during which time we used to 
live within our pay. She had brought some money with 



148 I. N. A. HEROES 

her, which we spent all leaving eight annas. These 8 
annas, we made up our mind to keep as a reserve. One 
day when we had no "atta" in the house, father happened 
to visit us. We had forgotten those eight annas, and 
were greatly worried that in case father found out the 
state of affairs we were in, he would be very much 
hurt. I went to the Regimental Bania, but there 
happened to be no " atta " in his shop. I did not like 
to borrow cash and was greatly upset, suddenly I 
remembered those 8 annas and ran back to my 
quarters. On reminding, Basant gave me the money 
.and the situation was saved. Luckily while leaving 
father gave some money to Basant which came so handy. 

Buying of fuel and rations used to leave us with 
practically nothing out of the pay, yet we wanted to 
pose out as if we were rich. I wonder how a poor 
.sepoy can support his family. Thank God ! we had 
no children. We never bought any clothes for us. 

Kitchner College, J^owgong. Slowly and steadily 
.by the help given to me by Jem. Head Clerk Atta 
Mohd. Shah, I was selected to do a prospective Cadets 
Long Course (2 years) at Nowgong in 1936. 

I was an average student. Our course consisted 
of 30, out of this lot 13 were to be selected at the end 
of the course to do Cadet training in the Indian Military 
Academy. I was one of the selected. 

At Nowgong, I came to be known as a good speaker 
or in any case loud speaker. I used to recite Hindustani 
poems rather well and at times also composed poetry. 
During my last turn.tlicre, I was elected the President 



COL. G. S. DHILLON 149 

of the Gurdwara Committee. At times I used to go out 
on small shooting. 

Indian Military Academy. Joined in 1938 and 
passed out in 1943 with date of commission being 
26th July 1939. I was an average gentleman cadet 
and passed out 18th in a term of about 40. 

1/14 Punjab Regiment. After getting the Com- 
mission, I was posted to 1/14, Punjab Regiment, then 
stationed at Lahore in the very lines where I had 
stayed as a Sepoy. In October, 1941, the Battalion 
moved to Secundrabad from where it moved for over- 
seas in March 1941. 

At Secunderabad, Basant came to stay with me for 
42 days (19th Jan. 1st March 1941). During her stay, 
all officers called on me as a courtesy, which was the 
custom but the Colonel and the 2nd in command did 
not. It was the first time when I realized that officer 
or no officer I was an Indian, a member ot an enslaved 
nation. While at Lahore, I had not been able to join 
the Officers Swimming Club, this one was another 
insult. By the way I was one of those whom the C.O. 
liked and ours was an Indianized Battalion. When I 
told my feelings to some ot the brother officers, I was 
surprised to learn many more stories of discrimination. 

On 3rd March 1941 we were due to sail from 
Bombay for some unknown destination. I was the 
Baggage Officer. A certain Sergeant Major on the 
Embarkation Staff was rude to me. I overlooked as I 
did not wish to waste time on unnecessary unpleasant 
procedure of arresting him. 



150 I. N. A. HEROES 

Oa about 5th March 1941, during a conference, I 
was shocked to hear the C. O. referring to the 
incident in a very angry tone without poiiiting out 
name. I was hurt and after the conference told him 
how I felt about it. Th> result was the C. O. did not 
talk to me throughout the voyage. Yet there were 
five British officers junior to me with whom he would 
often be seen drinking aaJ chatting. My only 
consolation was that I was uc the only officer being 
so treated, all the Indian officers, and all happened to 
be senior to me, were also treated accordingly. 

We landed at Penang on 17th March 1941 and 
arrived at Ipoh on 18th March. All officers were 
staying at Majestic Hotel, Ipoh. In April I was in 
bed for about a week. I was surprisad that the C.O., 
staying hardly about forty yards away, did not pay me 
a visit. I got a consolation, however, that he had not 
seen Major Kiani, his Adjutant, during the latter's 
illness, I was a junior guy. 

We the Indians could not join the club. There are 
many unpleasant such lik^ examples which I do not 
intend relating, for perhaps behaviour of individuals 
should not be taken as an excuse to blame a people. 

On 7th May 1941, we moved from Ipoh to Sungi 
Patani. Here we had some unpleasantness wit h the 
C. O. and the 2nd in Command regarding Indian food 
and promotion and appointments of ofticers. We who 
were all regular officers were not given commands of 
Companies, but emergency commissioned British Tea 
planters and firm agents were given preference over us, 



COL. G. S. DH1LLON 151 

General Mohan Singh (a Major at the time after- 
wards a Capt.) and the CO. had so much difference 
of opinion that they were not on talking terms for 
a long time. 

About the middle of May 1941 Maj. M. Z. Kiani, 
the Adjutant, fell seriously ill and was removed to 
hospital. I became the officiating Adjutant and 
carried on up to 10th June 1941, when 1 lett Malaya for 
India to do a Signal Course at Pjona. 

During my Adjutancy, I learnt a great deal of 
stati work from the C.O. This knowledge has proved 
very useful ever since. While I left him on 20th 
June 1941, he said, "Dhillon, I thank you for helping 
me as my Adjutant. I have found you much above 
my expectations and would be glad to receive you 
back." I thanked him in return and we said farewell 
to each other, 

Stgnal Course. I landed at Madras on 3rd July 
1941 and reported at the Training Depot, 10/14 Pun- 
jab, Ferozepore, on 6th July 1941. During the journey 
from Madras by rail, I saw the horrible sight of poverty, 
as I had not hitherto known. Begging children with 
buldged out tommies and naked bodies whom one could 
see at every stoppage, haunted me for days and nights. 
I became an enemy of the system which was governing 
the country. In spite of these feelings I continued 
serving. A mistake for which I cannot excuse myself. 
But what else could I do ? I did not want to be an 
unemployed. 



152 I. N. A. HEROES 

I did the signal course at Poona from 4th Aug. 
to 4th Oct. 1941 and passed in an above average 
position. 

At Poona I met Gurdial Singh, my eldest brother, 
after about 16 years. 

Malayan Camvaign. After the course I had 
a month's leave and then landed back at Singapore on 
30th Nov. 1941. I joined my Battalion on 5th Dec. 1941 
at Jitra (North of Malaya). I took over the duties 
of the Battalion Signal Officer. 

On 8th Dec. 1941 the Greater East Asia War 
broke out. 1/14 Punjab was the torward most unit 
which came into contact with the Japanese. &fter the 
battle at Chingham we were cut off on llth Dec. 1941. 

I collected some 40 men and was trying to 
rejoin our forces at Alorstar, while on 12th Dec. I 
met Capt. Habibul-Rehman Khan (recently wounded 
along with Netaji). We collected about 80 men ot 
different units including British and made an effort to 
rejoin the forces, but Alorstar and Jitra had tall en. 
We sailed in a small boat or two from Kaula Kedah 
and on 15th Dec. 1941 landed at Miami Beach, Penang. 
Penang was being evacuated, we reported at 3 M. R. C. 
and under orders left the same day without having had 
any food or rest. 

We were given commands of Companies found 
from M. R. C. and were ordered to defend a Bridge 
at Nibang Tibal until all forces had withdrawn from 
North of it. 



COL. G. S. DHILLON 153' 

On 20th Dec. 1941 we rejoined our Battalion at 
Ipoh. I was ill. and was evacuated to a hospital in 
Singapore. Having recovered I reported for duty at 
7 M. R. C where I was given to officiate as Adjutant 
of the Indian Wing. During the bittle of Singapore, 
I remained with 7 M. R. C. 

It was very disgusting to note during those days 
that the Indian troops were not allowed to make use 
or Naafi Stores. In a conference of the Wing 
Commanders, when I suggested that the privilege 
should be granted to the Indian soldiers, all the 
British Officers turned it down, saying "It is against 
the regulations". I wonder why fighting side by side 
was not against them. 

It was after the surrender that I rejoined my 
Battalion at Farrer Park on 17th Feb. 1942, and was 
bended over by Col. Hunt to the Japanese and then to 
Capt. Mohan Singh, the G. O. C., Indian National 
Army. Soon after Farrer Park meeting my battalion 
moved to Neesoon Camp. I accompanied. 

P. O. IV. After the surrender, the discipline 
and morale of troops suddenly went so low that men 
started beating their officers. 

Just after being handed over to Mohan Singh 
Sahib, one day I had a long discussion with him re- 
garding the I. N. A., which he wanted to raise. I 
asked for time to think over on my own. The 
question was the King or country ? I chose the 
country and threw in my lot with him. 

The condition at Neesoon Camp, where I was^ 
living was very bad. Due to lack of discipline,- 



154 I. N. A. HEROES 

dysentery had started. On permission irom Mohan 
Singh, I addressed all officers and N. C. O's in that 
Camp. Main points of my talk were : 

(<a) Discipline 
(fe) Sanitation 
(c) Dysentery. 

Later on under instructions froTi Mohan Singh 
Sahib through Major M. S. Dhillon (who came over 
to the British in 1942) I gave two lectures to about 
500 to 600 men at a time, with an idea to bring 
about : 

(a) National Unity. 

(fc) National Honour. 

(c) Discipline and Morale. 

(d) Feeling of Independence. 

t 
The main idea was that we were not sure as to 

what would be the Japanese attitude, and the amount 
of help we would receive from them. Whether we 
xaised the I. N. A. or not the above points would be 
.useful. 

Main difficulties in those Jays were : 

(a) Spirit of defeatism and so lack of sacrificing. 

(fe) Poor discipline and morale 

<(c) Communal-mindedness 

(d) Mohan Singh's juniority. 

*(e) The Japanese element. 

(f) Pro-British persons. 

(g) Selfishness and opportunists. 

Changi Garrison. On llth March 1942 
under 'instructions from Col. N. S. Gill I procceeded 



COL. G. S. DHILLON 155 

to Changi Camp where British P. O. W. lived. I had 
.200 officers and men with me. 

M.y Duties were : 

(a) To supply sentry posts outside camps so 
that the P. O. W. do not escape or trouble 
civilians living just outside camps. 

(fc) To patrol Changi area, for P. O. Ws. used to 
snatch food from local people by force and 
would destroy their crops. Some people 'had 
reported of rape cases. 

<c) To keep escapees (handed ov>r by the 
Japanese) in my Garrison area until their 
handing over back to their respective Camp 
Commandants for necessary action. I was 
supplied no food for th^se deserters, so they 
were fed by my men. Our motto was "No- 
body will starve under an Indian's roof." My 
Adjutant 2/Lt. Sawarn Singh used to arrange 
rations on the quiet through a Japanese Sgt. 
Hirao. At times P. O. Ws. under my charge 
used to quarrel amongst themselves and our 
sentry had to restore peace. 

id) To arrange necessary transport for supply- 
ing rations to P. O. W. and for their move- 
ments outside the Camp, I had 50 vehicles 
under my charge for the purpose. 

difficulties were : 

(#) Not a pleasant job. 

(6) To start with, my men had great inferiority 
complex. 



156 I. N. A. HEROES 

(c) I was a Japanese tool which I hated to be;- 

I had to receive orders from a Jap 
Liaison Officer with whom I was always at 
loggerheads. 

(d) I had to see, that my men having the power 

did not misuse it. 

(e) Acts of kindness were taken in wrong light 

both by the Japanese and the British. 

(f) All P. O. Ws. including Generals were 

opposed to me and my sentries. 

The lighter side. At times certain P. O. W. used 
to escape only to be captured by my or Japanese 
guards or patrols so that during their detention they 
would get better food. The Australians used to be 
very friendly and helpful, so one could be kind to 
them. Giving protection to civilians was a pleasure, 

A Shooting Incident. In May 1942 on a certain 
day at dusk about 14 P. O. W. attacked two of my 
sentries. One sentry fired for self-defence. Only one 
round was fired, which caused one killed and one 
wounded. Both casualties were brought to me. The 
wounded P. O. W. was treated in my camp hospital, 
and the body of the killed was handed over to the 
British P. O. W. The body was not recognised by 
them. The Japanese M. P. carried out a thorough 
enquiry at the end of which I was ordered to issue only 
5 rounds to a sentry. On my part, I advised my men/ 
to shoot in the air to frighten and not to cause 
casualties. No shooting, however, took after this 
incident. 



COL. G. S. DHILLON 157 

My Illness. On 29th June 1942, I got 
pneumonia, and was placed on D. L and S. I. Lists 
by Lt. Col. B. Chaudry, I. M. S M who used to come to 
&ee me from Salitar Camp. I continued commanding 
the Garrison from my bed. 

On 16th July 1942, the attack was repeated and on 
5th Aug. 1942 I was removed to Salitar Hospital under 
Col. Chaudry 's treatment. 

From 3rd Oct. to 25th Nov. 1942 I spent a sick 
leave at Penang, Though I recovered, weakness 
continued and since then I never felt really fit in 
Malaya. 

In Oct. 1943 I had to be operated upon in the nose 
and throat. 

The First L K. A. On 1st Sep. 1942 I was 
commissioned as 2/Lt. in the I. N. A. Due to illness I 
remained on the strength of the reinforcement group 
and was given no appointment throughout the 
1st I. N. A. 

During the crisis, I was actively against starting 
the 2nd I. N. A. but afterwards changed my mind and 
helped in reorganisation. 

The 2nd I. K. A. 

(a) D. Q. M. G. After the crisis, I was appoint- 
ed Deputy Quarter Master General in the Army 
H. Q. under Col. M. Z. Kiani, the Army Commander. 
;My duties as D. Q. M. G. were to be responsible 

: 

1. Supplies of rations, oil and petrol. 



158 1. N. A. HEROES 

2. The Ordnance Department dealing with sup- 

ply, issue and maintenance of clothing,, 
arms and equipment, Ammunition. 

3. The Workshop. 

4. Mechanical Transport. 

5. Military Engineering Services. 

Apart from the I. N. A., I had to supply fresh 
vegetables, fish, and certain foodstuffs to Indian 
P. O. W. Hospitals, though they were not under the 
I. N. A. Command. 

In June 1943, Major N. N. Khosla took over the 
Department from me. I started working as Supply 
and Transport Otficer under him. 

(b) 5th Grla. Regt. In December 1943. I was 
appointed 2nd in Command to Major J. W. Rodriques. 
Apart from helping him in raising the Regiment my 
duties were : 

L Training. 

2. Discipline. 

3. Morale. 

On March 30th, 1944, the Regiment moved to- 
Ipoh. It was very noticeable that though the 
Japanese and Malaya guards and parties often used to 
be attacked by the communists, yet they had so much 
respect for our leader and the movement that they 
never disturbed us. 

(c) Move to Burma. For move to Burma I was 
attached with the 1st Inf. Regt. Left Jitra for 
Champhon by rail in July 1944. From Champhon- 



COL. G. S. DHILLOH 155 

went to Khawaji and then back to Champhon in 
order to proceed to Bangkok from where I flew by 
Netaji's plane to Rangoon on 21st August 1944. 

(d) 3^0. 2 Divisional H. Qrs. On arrival in 
Burma I took over the "A" and "Q" Branches in 
No. 2 Div. H. Qrs. This was an officiating appoint- 
ment due to the absence of respective staff officers on 
their way from Malaya. Col. Aziz Ahmed was the 
Divisional Commander. 

(e) Wehru Brigade (4th Grla. Regt). On 13th 
November 1944 I was appointed Commander of the 
Nehru Brigade. I took over from Major Mahboob 
Ahmed at Myingyan. Mahboob had officiated only 
for about four days. While handing over the Brigade 
he also handed over graves ot our heroes who had 
been bombed by the British on 4th November 1944. 

When i took over, the Brigade was under- 
strength, poorly clothed and equipped. The discipline 
and morale was non-existing. Some deficiencies were 
made good, but my main efforts were devoted in 
improving the standard of discipline and morale apart 
from the fighting efficiency. This was done by giving 
lectures, personal touch and listening to the grievances 
of the the troops. Every body was given an option to 
stay or be sent back to a rear area. All officers 
including Sub. Officers were given separate interviews. 
Attention was paid to the medical side and welfare of 
troops. 

One day per week was observed as " Jawanoa ka 
Din." On this day officers used to share food witti 
men in their lines. 



160 L N. A. HEROES 

On a special order of the day a slogan as under 
-was given : 

"Khoon Ka Badla Khoon Khoon Khoon. 1 ' 
Eight cases of desertion were brought before me. 
I excused all with a warning that there would be 
no mercy shown if they committed the crime again. 
It is interesting that they did not let me down. 
My policy was to get things done without or with 
least possible punishment. 

Relationship with the Japanese. Our treatment 
to each was on reciprocal basis. I could never 
.stand any interference by them and they knew it 
well. 

Once one of the unit happened to enter my 
camp at night (24/25th December 1944) at Myingan 
.after taking permission from the Japanese M. P. I 
warned them to clear out otherwise they would be 
fired upon by my guards. They cleared out within a 
couple of minutes. 

Once, Japanese M. P. approached the Burmese 
authorities, to request them to see that a certain 
building was not occupied by the I. N. A. They 
were told to approach me direct, but the M. P. would 
not, saying that they were not allowed to interfere 
in the I. N. A. matters. 

Relationship, with the Burmese. Very cordial 
and friendly. They would always request us to 
occupy their villages so that Japanese might not 
come. For, the Japanese used to avoid us. We were 
much helped by them in the way of transport 
{bullock carts), fuel, vegetables and accommodation. 



COL. G, S. DHILLON . 

I received many donations from tlieir qfficeb.for 
my hospitals, both in cash and kind. 
In Action. 

(a) Though the morale and discipline of the 
Brigade had improved yet it was not to 
my satisfaction. Materially I was still very 
poor. I was under-strength, was short of 
staff and officers, had no machine gun 
belts and spare parts, had no supporting 
weapons, there were only two M. T. 
vehicles both not reliable. I received order 
to occupy a defensive position opposite 
Pagan on the western side of Irrawadi. 
I was about 60 miles ffoto this place. My 
only transport was 37 bullock c*rts and 
a Brigade had to move. I had no means 
of communication with my or the Japanese 
H. Qrs. 

On 29th January 1945 I reeeiv$4 prefers to occupy 
the above-stated place by 20th, January 1945. This 
means that the orders were late .by 9 days. ' At the 
time I had an attack of tonsils. My staff car was out 
of order. 

On 30th January 1945 I left Myingyan by foot 
to carry out a recce of T the area I had to occupy. 
My Intelligence Officer, and . an",N. C. O. accom- 
panied me. I took a bullock cart with me, which 
came very useful. On 5A February 1945, I was back 
in Myingyan having done, 108 miles by foot apart 
from 2 days race of the area. Considering that the 



162 I* N, A* HEROES 

movement could not be carried out during the day 
due to enemy air attacks, it was a Quick piece of work. 

On 7th February 1945 my Jap Liaison Officer 
brought me the news that the enemy had arrived 
at Mitche about four miles opposite Nyangu which 
I was supposed to occupy. I was so harsh to Capt. 
Izuni, my Liaison Officer, that the poor fellow started 
crying. 

I left Myingyan on 7th February 1945 having 
issued orders for all units to proceed that very 
evening. The sick, weak personnel, unwilling and 
undesirables were left back with Major Jagir Singh, 
my 2/Lt. in command who had been given instructions 
to arrange and send them back. 

(6) As my personal sfaff I took only one 
clerk. 

Battles fought by the Brigade. 
(0 Battle of Nyangu 7th Feb. 1945 to 14th 

and Pagan Feb. 1945, 

(it) Battle of Tanzang 16th March 1945. 

<tit) Battle of Sade 16th, 17th, 19th 

March 1945. 
<tv) Guerilla Warfare 24th Feb. to 3rd 

April 1945. 

(c) Apart from the above battles small actions 
were numerous connected with the de- 
fence of Kyauk-P*dftung and Popa areas. 
The withdrawal from Popa to Pegu without any 
transport:* is a great military action of the Brigade. 



COL. G- S. DHILLON 163 

<d) From Magwc to Pegu up to my capture, 
I was with the Divisional Commander 
General Shahnawaz Khan. We were cap* 
tured on 17th May 1945 at Bawaji near 
Pegu. 

(e) My casualties were about 200 out of an 
effective strength of about 800 to 900 
which I could put into action to start with. 

</) I estimate to have inflicted over 500 casual- 
ties on the enemy. 



(2) 

OUTkJNKS OF MY LIF8 IN THB I. tf. A. 

I am one of those who believed in Mohan 
Singh Sahib's leadership and sincerity. After having 
a talk with him just after the surrender of Singapore, 
I threw in my lot with him. Mohan Singh's task was 
a hard one. I am one of those who believe that he is 
a kind-hearted, efficient, brave, energetic, selfless, 
national military leader. 

I commanded Changi Garrison, i.e., guards over 
British P. O. W. from llth March 1942 to August 5, 
1942. Why this job over P. O. W. ? I can't account 
fot this. Having joined an organisation I was prepar- 
ed to do any job does not matter how dirty and I 
did it. 

My treatment to the British P. O. W. used to be 
cold but humanitarian. To Australians warmer. 
P. O. W. used to prefer living under me than 
under their own officers. I fell sick with pneumonia 
on 29th June 1942, these P. O. W. used to nurse me. 
On 26th July I had another attack and on 5th August 
I was removed to hospital. Fram 2nd October to 25th 
November I remained at Penang on sick leave. 

On 1st September 1942 I was commissioned in 
the I. N. A., but due to illness and weak health 
remained attached to reinforcement group no job. 

164 



COL, G, S. DH1LLON 165 

During the I. N. A. crisis November 1942 to 
February 1943 at first 1 helped ito break the I. N. A., 
but afterwards rejoined and helped in raising it again. 
I felt being spied upon but I continued. 

After the crisis I became Deputy Quarter 
Master General in the Army H. Qrs. Remained so up 
to June 1943 ; when Maj. N. N. Khosla took over, I 
became his Supply and Transport Officer. 

5th October to 26th October 1943 in hospita* 
Nose and throat operation. 

December 1943, 2nd in command of 5 Grla, 
Regt., helped raising and training it. 

17th |May to 21st August 1944, attached 1st 
Inf. Regt. for movement to Burma. 

21st August 1944 to 6th October 1944 officiat- 
ing head of the Adjutant and Quartermaster's Branch- 
es in No. 2 Divisional Head Quarters at Rangoon. 

Hehru Brigade. 

Took over on 13th November 1944 at Myingyan. 
My activities as its commander have been : 

(a) At Myingyan : 13th November 1944 to 7th 

February 1945. 
(t) Reorganising the Brigade, 
(it) Spiritual Training. 

<m) Preparation of Myingyan defences accompa- 
nied by warfare training. 

<fc) In Action : 

<0 Battle of Pagan and Nyangn 7th to 
14th February 1945. 



166 I. N. A. HEROES 

(it) Reorganisation after the battle of Pagan. 
(tit) 25th February 1945 to 10th March 1945 
Defence of Kyauk-Padang and Guerilla 
warfare in Tangzin and Pymbin areas. 

(f'v) Advance towards Nyangu occupation of 
Tangzin area and Guerrilla warfare. Patrol 
activity, Battle of Sade and Tangzin 10th 
March to 5th April 1945. 

(v) 5th April to llth April 1945 defence of Popa, 
Move to Magwe. 

(tn) Retreat from Magwe towards Moulmein 
19th April to 17th May 1945. 

Exhausted surrounded captured. Behind 
Bars Pegu Jail 17th May 1945. Then Hos- 
pital Rangoon Central Jail arrived (C S. 
D. I. C) Red Fort 5th July 1945. 



(3) 

WHY I JOINED TBE I. N. A. ? 
DIFFERENT STAGES OF MIND, 

Before joining the Army. 

During the school and college days I had my 
sympathies with the Congress without knowing much 
about it. These sympathies only remained within me 
and did not take any practical shape. 

After joining the Army. 

As I joined the Army at the very bottom rank t 
my experiences were those of poverty and struggle to 
get into the Indian Military Academy. -I believed that 
to be a good Indian, one must be self-supporting and 
self-respecting. At the Academy the motto in the 
Chetwood Hall appealed to me. The motto was : 

"The honour, welfare and safety of your 

country comes first, always and every time. 

The comfort, welfare and safety of the men 

you command comes next, always and every 

time. 
Your own comforts and safety comes last, 

always and every time/' 

Ever since I read this motto, I started thinking of 
my country in a way I had never done before. I realized 
that it was not only difficult but impossible, to get 

167 



168 I. N. A. HEROES 

according to the spirit of the motto by remaining in 
the Army. Anyway I continued serving purely for 
selfish reasons. 

After getting thfe commission I was posted to 1/14 
Punjab Regt. Some of the brother officers (all 
Indians) in that unit, gave me certain instructions so 
that I could keep up the honour of the Indian officers. 
Soon* I felt that there was great discrimination with 
which we were treated. Some of the examples are : 

(a) At Lahore I wanted to join the Officers' 

Swimming Club % but I was told that it was 

meant for the British, 
(fe) Many a time I saw British officers openly 

showing hatred for some of our Indian ways 

and " Desi Khan*." 

(c) The C. 0. and the 2nd I/C did not call on my 
wife during her stay with me at Secundera- 
bad. 

<d) Many, a time when I had some difference of 
opinion with a Britisher, invariably the 
Britisher concerned would be backed up 
by senior British officers irrespective of 
reasons. 

<e) My pay. and allowances were far less than 
the pay and allowances of British officers 
V of the same rank. Our standard of living 
was the same. 

</) There was far too much prominence given 
to religion so as to keep different classes 
separated*and divided. 



COL. G. S. DHILLON 169 

The very things which were considered to 
be good in a British officer, for example, 
mixing with troops, straightforwardness, 
national pride and expression of indepen- 
dent views, were considered to be dangerous 
in the Indian officers. 

(h) Colour bar came in even in the question of 
certain appointments, for example, in l/14th 
after the arrival of . C. O's who happened 
to be Britons command of most of the 
Coys, was given them though all the 
Indians were experienced regular officers. 

(0 Disregard of proper channels by the British 
used to be so disgusting. 

The above and many more experiences though very 
email made me realize that whether an officer or a sepoy 
an Indian was a " bloody nigger " a slave and nothing 
more. In March 1941 at Ipoh (in Malaya) I dis- 
cussed my feelings with Mohan Singh Sahib and asked 
if one should resign. He told and advised me that 
that was not the time to resign, for no purpose could 
be served by it. Neither the Congress nor the re- 
lations would be in a position to appreciate my point 
of view. I would just be considered unwanted, in- 
efficient officer who had been kicked out because of 
reasons personal not national. My own people would 
take me as a useless,. work-fearing person, and even 
earning of livelihood would be a problem. I had better 
wait for a better opportunity. 



170 I. N. A* HEROES 

The Malayan Campaign. 

My opportunity comes with the break of Greater 
East Asia War, yet my conscience did not let me desert 
my men. The campaign showed the British in their 
true colour of selfishness and inefficiency. My feelings 
grew more and more against them. 

The First I. H. A. 

After the surrender of Singapore, I met Mohan 
Singh Sahib again. He reminded me what I wanted 
to do a year ago and told me that that was the 
chance. After thinking for about a few days I took a 
vow that henceforth I would devote my life to my 
country, that I would not let even thoughts of my 
wife, parents and beloved ones interfere with this* 
sacred duty, and that I would not drink until India was 
free. 

Under General Mohan Singh I was all in all in the 
movement. 

The Second I. W. A. 

The I. N. A. crisis showed us in our true colours, 
yet I believed that by being in a movement, one could 
do a lot as long as one were sincere and that others 9 
cowardice, weakness or selfishness were not am excuse 
for one's own. My main incentive remained the 
welfare of the men and the movement* Even after 
Netaji's arrival I always felt that Mohan Singh 1 * 
I. N. A. was a better Military machine oa revolutionary 
lines but politically, it even could not be compared 
with ttie 2nd one under Netaji. Though I continued 



COL. G. S. DHILLON 171 

working hard, yet I was not satisfied with mjr 
surroundings. In October 1944, Netaji called me for 
an interview and I was surprised to learn that he 
exactly knew my feelings. During this interview 
which lasted for about two hours he gave me choice 
between a staff oificership and a command. I chose 
command, for I wanted to work independently and io 
the front line. On 26th October 1944 Netaji called 
me again and told me that I would be given the com- 
mand of 4th Grla. Regt. (Nehru Brigade). 
This was an appointment after my heart. Nehru Bde. 
was in the front at the time. 



(4) 

COLLECTION OF CLOTHING FROM THE 
SEPARATED PERSONNEL MARCH 1943 
Situation 

After the crisis about 4,000 officers and men 
refused to continue in the 2nd I. N. A. They were 
separated and accommodated in Salitar Camp where 
-eventually Japanese P. O. W. H. Qrs. took them 
over and they were removed from that camp. 

Reasons 

Before separation the personnel had been allowed 
to retain all articles of clothing, certain items of 
equipment such as water bottles, haversacks, ration tins 
and cooking utencils, which had been issued from 
I. N. A. Ordnance Stores. The Japanese authorities 
informed the D. M. B's H. Qrs. that they (the Japanese) 
.could not issue more stores to the I. N. A. so all articles 
on the stock of L N. A. should be withdrawn 
from the separated personnel. 

Ascertainment 

D. M. B. f s H. Qrs. ascertained that the Japanese 
would issue necessary articles after they had taken 
over the personnel. In fact they did issue them with 
absolutely new clothing before the personnel were 
cemoved from Salitar Camp. 

172 



COL. G. S. DH1LLON 175 

Collection 

Being the D. Q. M. G., Army Head Quarters this 
unpleasant job of collecting stores was my responsi- 
bility, under orders from the D. Q. M. G M DM. B.'s 
H. Qrs. then Major K. H. Thimaya and shortly 
afterwards Major A. D. Jahaagir, Thimaya having met 
a car accident had been removed to a hospital 

Ths Japanese who were taking over the separated 1 
personnel were issuing these stores at the time these- 
personnel left Salitar Camp. Had everything beet* 
collected at once it would have meant leaving those 
personnel stripped naked. I put up the matter again, 
and the ruling was given that the maximum stores 
possible would be collected immediately allowing the 
separated personnel to retain on loan, one shirt, one 
pair of shorts, a pair of P. T. shoes, a cap or pagri 
per man, plus cooking utencils as necessary. 

These things on loan were also to be collected as 
they would move out of Salitar. Dates of their move by 
parties were to be made known to me by the H. Qrs. 
Hikari Kikan. 

I ordered Regimental Quartermasters to carry out 
the collection according to instructions issued by me. 
During the collection certain Unit Quartermasters met 
with hostile attitude from the separated personnel, so 
Maj. A. D. Jahangir and I at times used to attend this 
collection. In connection with this duty I collected 
all separated officers and N. C. Os. and explained them 
why we were collecting those stores from them. After 
this lecture we had no difficulties in getting co-opera* 



174 L N, A, HEROES 

tion from them. Of course we had to be very lenient 
in ' handling the situation. For this leniency Major 
Jahangir and myself had to answer later on, 

Court of enquiry. The information regarding 



moves of certain parties was not given in time by the 
Japanese as a result of which certain stores could not 
be withdrawn. Maj. A. D. Jahangir and I were blamed 
for failing to carry out the collection properly. 
Eventually a court of enquiry was held under the 
Presidentship of Lt. Col. A lag a pan, with Lt. Col. 
S. M. Hussain and Maj. Pritam Singh as members. 



(5) 

STATEMENT IN THE COURT 
My story is a simple one. I was enlisted as a sepoy 
in the 4th Bn. of the 14th Punjab Regiment on 29th 
May 1933. In 1936 at the recommendation of Lt. Col. 
C. Hungerf ord Jackson, I was selected to do a pros-^, 
pective cadet's course at Kitchner College, Nowgong. 
Before this I had had a long struggle in the ranks. 
Eventually I was selected to do a Gentlemen Cadet's 
course at the Indian Military Academy, Dehra Dun. 

It was in this Institution that I learnt to serve my 
country above everything else. There, I read written 
in Chettwood Hall in block letters of gold : 

" The honour, welfare and safety of your country 
comes first, always and every time. The comfort, 
safety and welfare of the men you command comes 
next, always and every time. Your own safety and 
comfort comes last, always and every time." 

Ever since I read this motto, the sense of duty 
towards my country and my men has under all cir- 
cumstances reigned supreme in my thoughts. It was 
with this motto in front of me that I served my country 
as an officer in the Indian Army. After joining the 
1st Bn. 14th Punjab Regiment as a 2nd Lieut, on 30th 
April 1940, I remained throughout with my unit, and 
moved overseas with it. We arrived at Ipoh in 

175 



176 I. N. A. HEROES 

Malaya on 18th March 1941. Then we went (to 
Sungei Patani. Here I had the privilege of officiating 
under my C O. Lt. Col L. V. Fitz Patrick as Adjutant 
for about two months. In June 1941 I came back 
home to do an All Arms Signal Course at Army Signal 
School, Poona. 

Just before the outbreak of war in East Asia I 
rejoined my unit at Jitra on 5th December 1941. 
During the Malayan campaign I was the Bn. Signal 
Officer. My Bn. was the foremost unit in Jitra 
sector to contact with the Japanese forces. We 
held them for thre days. After a battle at 
Changlun, as we were withdrawing to Jitra, which 
was to be our main defensive line, we were surprised 
by the enemy tanks. The C. O. and most of the 
officers and men were cut off. On 12th December 1941 
after a day of roaming about I managed to contact 
Capt. Habib-ul-Rahman who was also in a similar 
plight. 

We managed to collect about 80 men of different 
units of including British. The main road being in 
the Japanese occupation we had to cut our way 
through jungles and paddy fields. On the 13th early 
in the morning, we were attacked by the enemyjand 
most of the men deserted us except about 26 of our 
own unit. During the day, however, we managed 
to gather some more stragglers and in the evening 
when we were two miles from Alor Star we were 
informed by some civilians that Jitra and Alor 1 
Star had falleA. We could not believe this and 
Habib instructed me to follow him by bounds while 



COL. G. S. DHILLON 177 

he with a small party proceeded towards Alor 
Star to find out the situation for himself. We had 
hardly advanced a mile when we saw some people 
running away from the town. They too told us 
about the fall of Alor Star and asked us to with- 
draw. We did so, and on 14th evening sailed in 
small coastal boats fot Penang from Kuala 
Kedah. On arrival at Penang we with our party 
reported at 3 M. R. C. Within 15 minutes of our 
arrival we were ordered to leave Penang. On 16th 
morning we arrived, at Nibong Tibal about 26 miles 
from Penang on the mainland. Here Habib and 
myself were given the command "fa 'company each 
and were ordered to defend two brigades. I was 
placed in command of Gurkha Company formed out 
of the M. R. C. and a detachment of 1st. Bahawal- 
pore Company. I remained in position until all our 
troops North of that point had withdrawn. Even- 
tually on 19th December we were ordered to with- 
draw. We fell back to Taiping and then to 
Ipoh, where I rejoined the remnants of my Bn. 

I had not had a single whole meal ever since 
the war had started, i.e., the 8th December. Rest was 
out of question during such a retreat. I had an 
attack of fever and was admitted into a Hospital 
and then evacuated to Singapore. On my discharge 
from the Hospital I reported for duty at 7 M. R. C 
I tried to rejoin my unit but red-tapistn caused so 
much delay that by the time arrangements were 
made for my conveyance, the battle of Singapore 
had begun. During stay with the 7 M. R. C, I offi- 



178 i. N. A. HEROES 

ciated as the Indian Wing Commander and Adjutant. 
The situation became such that the Commandant of 
the 7 M. R. C. wanted my presence in order to con- 
trol the Indian Troops who were getting dissatisfied 
due to discriminatory treatment. The Commandant 
said that he had great confidence in my way of 
handling the Troops. 

By the llth February, 1942 we began hearing 
tumours that Singapore was going to surrender. I 
or any body else could not believe it. While eva- 
luating Bidadari Camp where 7 M. R. C. was stationed, 
on the way to town I saw thousands of Indians 
gathered in an open space. They had hoisted many 
Indian National Flags. I pointed this out to a British 
Col. who was with me. He said, "I don't blame 
them. If we cannot defend them they have to look 
after themselves." 

On 13th evening we were told officially that 500 

of our aeroplanes would arrive by the 15th morning 

land that the Americans were going to land at 

Pinang and come down South. But they never did. 

On the 15th at about 2200 hours the C. O. called 

ior me and told me that Singapore had surrendered 

unconditionally. This came to me as a great shock. 

With a heavy heart and teals in my eyes I dropped 

my revolver, and ordered my men to collect their 

arms. A still bigger shock came when the C. O. 

told me that the Indians would march off to Ferrar 

Park and the British to Chdngi. At Ferrar Park 

CoL Hunt representing the British Supreme Command 

handed us over to Maj. Fujiwara, a representative 



GOL. G. S. DHILLON 179 

of the Japanese Army, who in turn handed us over 
to Capt. Mohan Singh who was introduced to us as 
G. O. C, Indian National Army. I felt like one 
deserted by the British in a state of utter and tragic 
helplessness. 

Mohan Singh spoke. He expressed his intention 
of raising an Indian National Army for the liberation 
of India. His declaration was received with great 
enthusiasm and a feeling of hope and joy by all of us 
present at Fertar Park. 

I had known Mohan Singh before as we belonged 
to the same Unit. He was one of my dearest friends 
and I had confidence in him. However it was after 
a long mental struggle that I could persuade myself 
to accept him as G. O. C. With my knowledge of 
the recent events and of the state of the Eastern 
Defence of India I felt convinced that Singapore, the 
biggest naval base in the world, having surrendered 
so ignobly, there was no possibility of the British 
being able to defend or hold India against the Japanese 
invasion. 

Mohan Singh's task was a hard one. He had 
never even imagined that one day he would have to 
handle 75,000 officers and men under circumstances 
unprecedented in the history of the world. Dis- 
cipline had to be maintained amongst a demoralised 
and defeated Army. Freedom of political thought 
had to be given as the I. N. A. was entirely based on 
a voluntary basis. On top of all this lives of officers 
and men suspected by the Japanese had to be saved. 



180 I. M. A. HEROES 

Our ^civilian nationals had to be protected against 
all sorts of dangers. And all this had to be done 
consistently with India's national honour and laws 
of humanity. And in doing all this he had constantly 
to deal with highly suspicious people like the 
Japanese. 

I bad seen how people in Malaya had suffered as 
a result of the Japanese invasion ift consequence of 
the utter lack of preparation on the part of the British 
Government which had undertaken responsibility for 
her defence and I shuddered to think of the plight 
of my own countrymen on invasion of India. It was 
at this time that I got to realise the full significance 
of the havoc done to my unfortunate country by the 
one and a half century of the British Rule. While the 
British, I thought to myself, had exploited all our mate* 
rial resources for their own benefit and freely drawn 
upon our man power to fight their own imperialistic 
wars, they had not only done nothing to prepare us 
for the defence of our mother-land in case of need 
but had, in order to keep us in bondage for all time 
to come, completely emasculated us. I felt that if 
India had been free and in a position to look after her 
own defences no aggressor could have thought of 
crossing her border. In the Indian National Army 
proposed to be organised by Mohan Singh I saw a 
new hope for India. I felt that if a strong and 
willing National Army could be raised at that 
juncture it could not only liberate (India from forwgtf 
rule but could also resist the Japanese in case they t 
should try to go back upon their word and instead of 



COL. G. S. DHILLON 181 

helping us to win our freedom, should seek to exploit 
our country for their own purpose. Such an army 
could also give protection to our Indian brethren 
and sisters in the Far East against aggression by people 
belonging to other nationalities. Mother India seemed 
to be calling me and I decided to respond to her call 
and threw in my lot with Mohan Singh. 

I co-operated with Mohan Singh in the organiza- 
tion of the Indian National Army till 29th June 1942 
when I became very ill and had to go to the -hospital. 
On being discharged from the hospital on 2nd Octobe 
1942 I was sent to Penang for reasons of health. I 
still not being quite well and fit for work, I returned 
from Penang about the time when very sharp diffe- 
rences had arisen between Mohan Singh and the 
Japanese culminating in the arrest of the former and 
dissolution of the I. N. A. by him. On receiving the 
assurance that Netaji Subash Chandra Bose would 
come to lead the movement I decided to continue in 
the 2nd I. N. A. 

Recruitment of the I. N, A. at all times was on a 
purely voluntary basis. To my knowledge no coercion 
or force was ever used to induce any Prisoner of War 
to join the I. N. A. In fact use of force or coercion 
for such purpose was wholly unnecessary because we f 
always had a very large number of surplus volunteers 
whom we were unable to arm or put on training for 
want of equipment. The evidence given by some of 
the prosecution witnesses that prisoners of war were 
sent to Concentration or Detention Camps to coerce 
them into vblunteerrag is absolutely false. There was 



182 L N. A. HEROES 

no concentration camp in existence at all. There was 
a detention camp to which only persons found guilty 
of indiscipline or other offences were sent by way of 
punishment. That camp had, however, nothing to do 
in any shape or form, with enlistment in the I. N. A. 
On the contrary persons confined in the Detention 
Camp were not accepted as volunteers even if they 
offered to do so, because detention in that Camp for 
any period indicated some defect of character and was 
a disqualification for membership of the I. N A. 
These witnesses have told false and distorted tales to 
save their own skins or to curry favour with the 
Government. In all lectures delivered by me I warned 
my audience in the clearest possible terms that they 
should volunteer only if they loved their country and 
were willing and able to bear all kinds of hardships 
and sufferings in her cause. At the time of going into 
action I again warned the men under my command 
that we had to fight against an enemy much better 
equipped and far superior in men and materials and 
that any body who, either for want of courage or 
otherwise, did not wish to go to the front need not 
do so and could, if he so desired, be sent back to the 
rear areas. Some of the officers and men did show 
their unwillingness and about 200 such men were sent 
back to Rangoon before my Regiment left Myingyan. 
This option I gave to my command at every stage of 
the campaign and it was due to this particular reason 
that although for weeks I stayed within two miles of 
the enemy lines yet none of my men ever went and 
reported my location to the Allies, Many a time I 



COL. G. S DHILLON 183 

had to go without water for 20 to 30 hours and with* 
out food for two or three days. If as a Brigade Com- 
mander I had to undergo these hardships my men must 
have suffered much more yet they accompanied me. 
No man who had joined under duress or coercion could 
have done so. 

It is true that I committed four men for trial on 
charges of desertion and attempting to communicate 
with the enemy. It is, however, quite untrue that 
those men were shot at my instance or under my 
orders. On the day and at the time they are said to 
have baen shot I was confined to bed and unable to 
move. In fact ths ssntances of daath passed on these 
men were subsequently remitted by the Divisional 
Commander and were never executed. 

Whatever I did, I did as the member of a regular- 
ly organised force fighting under the Provisional 
Government of Free India and am therefore not liablj 
to be charged with or tried under the Indian Army 
Act and the Criminal Law of India for any offence on 
account of any act done by me in the discharge of my 
duties as a member of such force. I am further 
advised that in point of law my trial before this court 
martial is illegal. I joined the I. N. A. with the best 
and purset of motives. As a member of the I. N. A. 
I was able to help a number of Prisoners of War with 
money and materials. The I. N. A. was able to 
protect life, property and honour of the Indians 
residing in the Far East. It saved the lives of many 
civilians and prisoners of war who had been sen- 



384 I. N. A. HEROES 

tcnced to death by the Japanese on different charges. 
It successfully persuaded the Japanese to refrain from 
bombing civilians and their properties in Indian towns. 
The Indians in the Far East showed their appreciation 
of the services rendered to them by the I. N. A. by 
contributing crores^ of rupees to the funds of the 
Provisional Government of Free India. 

I respectfully maintain that the I. N. A. rendered 
distinguished service to 2i millions of Indians who 
owed allegience to the New Provisional Free 
Government of India, and was actuated by the most 
patriotic motives. 



PROCLAMATION 

OF THB 

PROVISIONAL GOVERNMENT OF 
A2AD HIND 

After their first defeat at the hands of the British 
in 1757 in Bengal, the Indian people fought an un- 
interrupted series of hard and bitter battles over a 
stretch of one hundred years. The history of this 
period teems with examples of unparalleled heroism 
and self-sacrifice. And in the pages of that history, 
the names of Sirajuddaula and Mohan Lai of Bengal, 
Haider Ali, Tippu Sultan and Velu Tampi of South 
India, Appa Sahib Bhonsle and Peshwa . Baji Rao of 
Mahrashtra, the Begums of Oudh, Sardar 
Shyam Singh Atariwala of Punjab and last 
but not least, Rani Laxmi-Bai of Jhansi, Tantia Topi, 
Maharaj Kunwar Singh of Dumraon and Nana Sahib 
among others the names of all these warriors are 
for ever engraved in letters of gold. Unfortunately 
for us, our forefathers did not at first realize that 
the British constituted a grave threat to the whole 
of India and they did not, therefore, put up a united 
front against the enemy. Ultimately, when the 
Indian people were roused to the reality of the 
situation, they made a concerted move and under 
the flag of Bahadur Shah in 1857, they fought their 

185 



186 1. N. A. HEROES 

last war as free men. In spite of a series of brilliant 
victories in the early stages of this war, ill-luck and 
faulty leadership gradually brought about their final 
collapse and subjugation. Nevertheless, such heroes as 
the Rani of Jhansi, Tantia Topi, Kunwar Singh and 
Nana Sahib live like eternal stars in the nation's 
memory to inspire us to greater deeds of sacrifice and 
valour. 

Forcibly disarmed by the British after 1857 and 
subjected to terror and brutality, the Indian people 
lay prostrate for a while but with the birth of 
the Indian National Congress in 1885 till the end of 
the last world war, the Indian people, in their 
endeavour to recover their lost liberty tried all 
possible methods namely, agitation and propaganda, 
boycott of British goods, terrorism and sabotage and 
finally, armed revolution. But all these efforts failed 
for a time. Ultimately in 1920, when the Indian 
people haunted by a sense of failure, were groping 
for new methods, Mahatma Gandhi came forward 
with the new weapon of non-co-operation and civil 
disobedience. 

For two decades (hereafter, -.the Indian people 
went through a phase of intense patriotic activity. 
The message of freedom ,was carried to every Indian 
home. Through personal example, people were 
taught to suffer, to sacrifice, and to die in the cause 
of freedom. From the cities to the remotest villages, 
the people were knit together into one political ' 
organisation. Thus the Indian people not only re* 



PROCLAMATION... PROVISIONAL GOVERNMENT 197 

covered their political consciousness, but became a 
political entity once again. They could now speak 
with one voice and strive with one will for one 
common goal. From 1937 to 1939, through *the work 
of the Congress Ministries in eight provinces, they 
gave proof of their readiness and their capacity to 
administer their own affairs. 

Thus, on the eve of the present world war, the 
stage was set tor the final struggle for India's libera* 
tion. During the course of this war, Germany, with 
the help of her allies, has dealt shattering blows to 
our enemy in Europe, while Nippon with the help 
of her allies has inflicted a knock-out blow to our 
enemy in East Asia. Favoured by a most happy 
combination of circumstances, the Indian people to-- 
day have a wonderful opportunity for achieving their 
national emancipation. 

For the first time in recent history, Indians abroad 
have also been politically roused and united in one 
organization. They are not only thinking and feeling 
in tune with their countrymen at home, but are 
also marching in step with them along the path to 
freedom. In East Asia in particular, over two million 
Indians are now organized as one solid phalanx, in*- 
spired by the slogan of "Total Mobilization." And 
in front of them stand the serried ranks of India's 
Army of Liberation, with the slogan "Onward to 
Delhi" on their lips. 

Having goaded Indians to desperation by ita 
hypocrisy, and having driven them to starvation and! 



188 I. N. A. HEROES 

death by plunder and Floot, British rule in India has 
forfeited the goodwill of the Indian people altogether, 
and is now living a precarious existence. It needs 
but a flame to destroy the last vestige of that 
unhappy rule. To light that flame is the task of 
India's Army of Liberation. Assured of the enthusias- 
tic support of the civil population at home and also 
of a large section of Britain's Indian Army, and 
backed by gallant and invincible allies abroad, rely- 
ing in the first instance on its own strength, India's 
Army of Liberation is confident of fulfilling its his- 
toric role. 

Now that the dawn of freedom is at hand, it 
is the duty of the people to set up Provisional 
Government of their own, and launch the last struggle 
under the banner of that Government. But with all 
the Indian leaders in prison and the people at home 
totally disarmed it is not possible to set up a 
Provisional Government within India or to launch an 
armed struggle under the aegis of that Government. 
It is, therefore, the duty of the Indian Independence 
League in East Asia, supported by all patriotic Indians 
at home and abroad, to undertake this task the 
task of setting up a Provisional Government of 
Azad Hind (Free India), and of conducting the last 
fight for freedom, with the help of the Army of 
Liberation (that, is, the Azad Hind Fauj or the 
Indian National Army) organized by the League. 

Having been constituted as the Provisional 
Government of Azad Hind by the Indian Indepen- 



PROCLAMATION... PROVISIONAL GOVERNMENT 199 

dence League in East Asia, we enter upon our duties 
with a full sense of the responsibility that has 
devolved on us. '#e pray that Providence may bless 
our work and our straggle for emancipation of our 
motherland, and our comrades in arms for the cause 
of her Freedom, for her welfare and her exaltation 
among the nations of the world. 

It will be the task of the Provisional Govern- 
ment to launch and to couduct the struggle that 
will bring about the expulsion of the British and of 
her allies from the soil of India. It will then be 
the task of the Provisional Government to bring, 
about the establishment of a permanent National 
Government of Azad Hind constituted in accordance 
with the will of the Indian people and enjoying their 
confidence. After the British and their allies are 
overthrown, and until a permanent National Govern- 
ment of Azad Hind is set up on Indian soil, the Pro- 
visional Government will administer the affairs of the 
country for the Indian people. 

The Provisional Government is entitled to and 
hereby claims, the allegiance of every Indian. It 
guarantees religious liberty, as well as equal rights 
and equal opportunities to all its citizens. It declares 
its firrn^ resolve to pursue the happiness and prosperity 
of the whole nation and of all its parts, cherishing 
all the children of the nation equally and trans- 
cending all the differences cunningly fostered by an 
alien Government in the past. 



190 I. N. A. HEROES 

In the name oi God, in the nsme of by-gone 
generations who have welded the Indian people into 
one nation, and in the name of the dead heroes 
who have bequeathed to us a tradition of heroism 
and self-sacrifice, we call upon the Indian people to 
rally round our banner, and to strike for India's 
freedom. We call upon them to launch the final 
struggle against the British and all their allies in 
India, and to prosecute the struggle with valour and 
perseverance and with full faith in Final Victory 
until the enemy is expelled from Indian soil, and the 
Indian people are once again a free Nation. 

SIGNED ON BEHALF OP THE PROVISIONAL 
GOVERNMENT OF AZAD HIND. 

SUBHAS GRANDER BOSE (Head of State. 

Prime Minister and Minister for War and 

Foreign Affairs) ; 

Capt, Mrs. Lakshmi (Women's Organisation) ; 
Lt. CoL A. C. Chatterji (Finance) ; 
S. A. Ayer (Publicity and Propaganda) ; 
Lt, CoL Ariz Ahmad, Lt. CoL N. S. Bhagat, Lt. 

CoL J. K. Bhonsle, Lt. CoL Gulzara Singh, Lt. 

CoL M. Z. Kiani, Lt. CoL A. D. Loganadan, Lt. 

Col. Ehsan Qadir, Lt, CoL Shah Nawaz. 

(Representatives of the Armed forces) ; 
A. M. Sahay, Secretary (with ministerial rank) ; 
Rash Behari Bose (Supreme Adviser) ; 
Karim Gani, Debnath Das, D. M. Khan, A. 

Yellappa, J. Thivy, Sardar Ishar Singh (Advisrs) ; 
A. N. Sarkar (Legal Adviser). 



APPENDIX 

DEFENCE STORY. 



I 

SHAHNAWAZKHAN. 
NOMINAL ROLL OF DEFENCE WITNESSES. 
1. Subedar Hazard Singh 

(a) That during the fighting in Singapore I com* 
manded k B* Coy. in which he was the senior V.C.O. 

(fe) That at Bidadari, Br. troops from our right 
and lett flanks ran away, including the British officer^ 
The A.A. gunners manning the guns in our Coy. area, 
also bolted led by their officers. 

(c) That I with my Coy. held on to the ridge 
till ordered to surrender. That I had issued orders to 
men to tight to the last there, 

(d) That I went to the Separation Camp 'Seletar' 
and lectured to all officers and men and asked for true 
volunteers who would even fight the Japs in India. I 
also stated that we would give all possible aid to those 
who were leaving thfc I. N. A. 

(<?) That u few days later he was separated from 
others and taken to P. O. W. Camp, Seletar, with other 
"old men" approx. 20 in number, as it was intended 
to save them from going to Pacific Island. 

(f) That after the formation of the 2nd I. N. A. 
I went to Seletar Camp several times and always tried 
to help him and others in the P.O.W. Camp. 

193 



194 I. N. A. HEROES 

2. Jemedar Mirzaman, 2/10 Baluch Regiment. 

1. That at the Farrer Park on 17th Febuary 1942 
I told him to inform all P. M's not to join the I. N. A. 

2. That in September 1942, he fell dangerously 
ill and all doctors told him that there was no hope for 
him, and that I took him to my Bungalow, gave him 
best nourishment and that he recovered, and was 
taken back by me to his unit, still a P. O. W. 

3. That about the end of September 1942, C. H. M. 
Mohammad Khan came to me at Neesoon and in- 
formed me that the P. O. W. at Seletar had decided to 
volunteer for the I. N. A. and that I went to Seletar 
the same day and dissuaded them not to do so. 

4. That during the crisis I told Mirzaman, that 
I wa& out to break the I. N. A. and that I used to have 
meetings with various officers in my Bungalow for the 
purpose. 

5; That in September 1943 I went to bid farewell 
to P. O. W. in Serengoon R. D. Camp and told them 
that the reason for my accepting the command of No.l 
Regt. (Bose Bde.) was that : * 

(a) The Japanese were* definitely going into 

: : India, and that there was a good chance of 

their success and in such an event the 

P. M's would be looked down upon for not 

participating in the. fight for Free India. 

(6) * That because the P. M's. as a class were out 

of the I. N. A. I was in it to safeguard 
their interests. 



NOMINAL ROLL OF DEFENCE WITNESSES 195 

3. tJemedar T^aushad, 1/4 P. Regt. 

I. That at the Farrer Park I told him among 

many others not to join the I. N. A. 

' * f 

4. Jemedar Abdul Hannan, 1/14 P. Regt. 

(/.^.A. Lt.). 

1. That I told him at Bidadari hill during the 
battle of Singapore that we would fight to the last on 
our positions in spite of the fact that, our flanks were 
exposed. 

2. That I told him at the Farrer Park and at 
Neesoon not to join the I. N. A. 

5. 2lLt. Tajamul Hussain, 6/14 Punjab Regt. 

1. That at the Farrer Park I told him not to join 
the I. N. A. 

2. That at Neesoon, we formed a "Block" to re- 
sist the I. N. A. and held several meetings. 

3. That I refused to allow anyone from my camp 
to be sent to the Concentration camp and when I was 
forced to do "so I resigned and went to the Naval 
base. 

4. That I lectured to all officers at Col. Gill's 
bungalow, on the eve of his daparture to Bangkok 
and blamed him for putting us in a. difficult situation, 
and made other anti-I. N. A. and anti-Mohan Singh 
remarks. 

5. About mid-May 1942, "Block" met again and 
reviewed the situation and it was decided 'that all of 
us should join the L N. A. with the undermentioned 
objects : 



196 1. N. A- HEROS > 

(a) To help P. M's. who were to remain out as a 
body, while a few of us were to join, the 
I. N. A. to gain control of its policy, and 
try and keep it as straight as possible. If 
we all kept out we felt that we would 
be maltreated and humiliated as others 
were being done in the concentration camp. 

(6) To wreck the I. N. A. when and if we had 
an opportunity of doing so. 

6. Next day a meeting of ail officers in 
Neesoon Camp was called, where I told them that 
I had received orders that everyone was to finally 
make up his mind, whether or not they wished to 
volunteer tor the I. N. A. But told everyone it was 
their own free choice. Non-volunteers were then sent 
to another camp* 

7. Early in June owing to certain differences ot 
opinion, with Mohan Singh over the choice and selection 
ot candidates for Bangkok Conference, Shahnawaz 
was sent out of Singapore as a punishment. This 
was much resented by officers and men in Neesoon. 

The same day Mohan Singh held a mass meeting 
of approximately 15,000 P. O. W. and volunteers at 
Seletat and gave a speech in which he declared that 
there was a party within his party which was 
trying to "wreck the movement" and before people of 
that party could do so, he would wreck it. 

On the night of Shahnawaz's departure a de- 
putation of senior officers including undermentioned 
officers went and protested to Mohan Singh against 
his transfer, but were told that since he was forming 



NOMINAL ROLL OF DEFENCE WITNESSES 197 

a party within Mohan Singh's party, he had been 
punished and if anyone of his friends wished to follow 
him they could do so. He threatened to send such 
men to the concentration camp. 

8. During the crisis I (S. N. K. ) played a leading part 
in breaking it, and at Bidadari in February 1943 vigor- 
ously refuted the statements made by Gen. Iwakuro. 
He also told us that it was our opportunity of 
getting out of the I. N. A. ani that our object of 
wrecking it had been achieved. 

9. Next met S. N. K. at Johore, where S. N. K. told 
him that he was very worried about him, as the Japanese 
had definitely succeeded in re-forming a new I. N. A. 
and that they were going to send the non-volunteers 
to the Pacific Islands. Shahnawazkhan told him that 
he had already arranged for Capt. Dilawarkhan, Lt. 
Shafiullah, Capt. T. M. Khanzada and several other 
members of tbe * Block ' not to be sent overseas, but 
for me he could find no excuse and so asked me 
to join the I. N. AL. to escape hardships. 

6. Lt. Ghulam Mohd., 3/16 Pb. Regt. 

1. That he was also a member of the "block." 

2. His statement up to the time of my depar- 
ture from Neesoon camp in June 1942 is the same as 
that of Lt. Tajamul Hussain. 

3. In June 1942 he went with his unit to 
Seremban for labour duties. On arrival there the 
Japs tried to persuais his men to take up arms 
and learn Japanese drill and words of command. He 
refused and as a result M. Gs. were put around his 



198 I. N. A. HEROES 

camp, he himself was put into a cell. The Japs 
held that unless they obeyed their orders they would 
all be shot, after 24 hours. A crisis thus arose. I 
went from Kuala-Lumpur and settled the affair in 
favour of P. O. W. 

4. That on his camp there were volunteers 
(guard parties) as well as labour parties and that 
there were orders that any soldier could change from 
a P. O. W. to a volunteer any time. The names 
of such men were periodically sent to the H. Q. 
Mainland at K. L. through the Jap officer in Com- 
mand of the camp. This being the method agreed 
upon by Lt. Nakamiya of Fujiwara Kikan, Jem. 
Sadhu Singh who was an Assistant of Mohan Singh 
and the local Jap Garrison Comdr. under whom we 
were placed. 

5. That I persuaded the Japs not to arrest any 
Indian soldiers who had turned civilians during the 
fight in Malaya, and were then doing business. Sy. 
Abdul Rab of 2/16 Pb. Regt. at Seremban Railway 
Station was one. 

6. That I visited his camp several times, but 
never askei him or anyone else to become volun- 
teers. 

7. That during the crisis I took a prominent part 
in breaking up the I. N. A. and refuted Iwakuro's 
statement that according to the resolutions passed at 
Bangkok, the I. N. A. could not be disbanded. 

8. That I asked all friends to take chance 
of that opportunity and get out of the I. N. A.. 



NOMINAL ROLL OF DEFENCE WITNESSES 199 

and that I assured all of them that I would do my 
best to help them. 

9. Other instances of help given to P. O. W. 
including Jem. Mirzaman. 

7. Sub. Jahan Dad Khan, 6/14 Punjab Regt. 

That Major Mahabir Singh delivered a lecture 
at Neesoon in March-April 1942 to all V. C. Os. 
500 stating that the Japs had landed at Madras. 
My conclusion "It was a very sad piece of news* 
when the sacred soil of our motherland was being 
trodden under the dirty feet of an invader, we were 
not there to prevent it." 

2. Dua-Khair in the Mosque ? 

8. Sub. Mohd. Sadiq, 5/14 Pb. Rgt. 

1. That I read out Biddadari resolutious and 
that on second meeting I declared myself a volunteer, 
and asked for lists of volunteers. 

2. That I informed all present that it was being 
done under orders and that every man was to make 
up his own mind. 

3. That I called a meeting of all P. M. officers 
in Mosque at Neesoon in May 1942 and told them 
that I hoped they would not become volunteers 
through coercion, after being separated from my 
camp. In a "Dua Khair" it was agreed to by alL 

9. Sub. Sardar Khan, Farrer Park Coy. % S. and M ., 

Roorki. 

1, 2, 3. Same as Sub. Mohd. Sadiq. 

4. That in Farrer Park I told him not to join 
the L N. A. Major Mahabir's lecture ? 



200 I. N. A. HEROES 

5. That in June 1943 I met him at Choa Camp and 
delivered a lecture to all P. O. W. there and told them 
that more volunteers were wanted for the I. N. A. but 
the essential qualification was that they should be 
prepared to fight aginst the Japs, if they were dis- 
honest with us. 

6. That I was always very concerned about the 
welfare of the P. O. W. and supplied medicines to 
them, 

10. Cavt. Firoze Khan, 2/20 Baluch Regt. 

1. That in Neesoon Camp it was well-known 
among the P. Ms. that I was in the I. N. A. to help the 
P. O. W. and to wreck it when the time came and also 
that I did not wish the P. Ms. to join it. 

2. That while I was Commanding Neesoon no 
one from my camp went to the concentration camp, 
although from all other camps large numbers were sent 
there. 

3. That in Sep./Oct. 1942 I was sent for by him at 
Seletar and told about the hardships the P. Ms. were 
undergoing, and their decision to join the I. N. A. and 
when the time came to shoot up the Sikhs. 

4. That I advised them not to join the I. N. A. 
Tore up their lists, went and saw Mohan Singh and 
helped to do away with their hardships. 

5. That in Sep. 1943 1 met them in Serengoon Rd- 
Camp and told them (P. M. officers) that I had been put 
in command of No. 1 Regt. (Bose Bde.) the first one to 
go into action. I told them that I accepted the 
Command because : 



NOMINAL ROLL OF DEFENCE WITNESSES 201 

id) I felt the Japs were definitely going into 
India and that there was a reasonable 
chance of their success, and that in Free 
India, they (P. Ms.) would be looked down 
upon as having taken no part in the fight for 
India's liberation. By being the foremost in 
fighting I would be able to stand up for their 
interests even in a free India. 

<fe) That I had been completely won over by 
Netaji S. C. Bose, who I was sure would never 
allow the Japs to exploit us or to do any- 
thing unbecoming of India's honour. 
-6. Other instances of help rendered to the P.O.W. 

11. Capt. Sherdil Khan, 2/15 P. Regiment. 

1. That I met him while he was in the concen- 
tration camp. Had him released and sent to P. O. W. 
Camp. 

2. Instances of help given to the P. O. W. 

3. Never asked them to become volunteers. 

12. Jem. Mohd. Khan, 2/10 Baluch Regt. 
Same as Capt. Firoze Khan. 

13. Jem. Mohd. Sadiq, 2116 P. Regt. 

14. Jem. Sardar Khan, 2116 P. Regt. 

15. Jem. Buta Khan, 3116 P. Regt. 

That I always helped the P. O. W. 
16. Maj Gilani, LM.S. 
17. Capt. Harula, LM.S. 

That I refused to allow them to be taken to the 
concentration camp. 



202 L N. A. HEROES 

18. Capt. (S.M.) Painda Khan. 5/2 Punjab Regt. 

1. Same as above, 

2. Mosaue "Dua Khair" in May 1942. 

3. Malacca Talk to all P.O.W. officers. 

J9. Jemedar Sadhu Singh, 1/14 Punjab Regiment. 
That he came to take above-mentioned officers to 
the concentration camp if refused to allow him to take 
them away. 

20. 5. M. Bakhtawar Singh. H.K.S.R.A. 

1. That from his unit or sector no one went to 
the concentration camp on account of their political 
views. 

2. That he was' present during the meeting held 
at Mohan Singh's Bungalow to select delegates for 
Bangkok Conference. 

3. That he was one of many selected to go but 
refused to go as a result of my transfer. 

4. That I advised him not to give any more A.A. 
gunners to M. S. for handing over to the Japanese. 

21. 5. M . Chanan Singh, 5/14 Punjab Regiment. 

1 That during the crisis I advised him to leave 
the I. N. A. because I was of the opinion that the 
British would win the war. 

2, My lecture at Seletar. 

3. That he did not go to the Pacific Island and 
that I met him again to enquire about his health. 

22. Jemedar Kutab Sher. H.K.S.R. 
That I dtd my very bast to get them out of the 
Japanese clutches, and to improve their lot. 



NOMINAL ROLL OF DEFENCE WITNESSES* 203- 

23. Jemedar Mohd. Sharief* H.K.S.R.A. 
* They had been handed over to the Japanese in 
February-March 1942, as A.A. gunners. 

24. Captain Rabnawaz Khan, 512 P.R. 

1. That I met him at Jitra, when he was I/C 
P. O. W. parties and talked to all officers in his party 
and told them that to me all were alike (v}lunteers or 
P. O. W.) and that I was concerned only with their 
welfare. 

2. Again met him at Port Dickson in June 1943. 
He was Commanding P. O. W. camp containing 2,000 
prisoners ; and that I talked only to volunteers of the 
old I. N. A. I stayed with him for two days. 

3. The system of becoming a volunteer and sub- 
mitting lists to the Head Quarter (Mainland). 

4. That I never persuaded him to join the 
I. N. A., and told him that the circumstances (Iwaku- 
ro's meeting) had forced me into it, and that I had 
been sent on tour by order as I know the main- 
land. 

3. That I was not happy in the I. N. A. as the 
Japanese were trying to exploit us, and we could do 
nothing about it. 

25. Lt. P.J. Madan. 
1. That on arrival of P. O. W. 
the Japanese Comd. at K. L. car 
them stating that : Nv 

(a) The Japanese did not iffo^Apon In^&fts a) 
Prisoners but as br 
sympathized with 
ence. 




204 I. N A. HEROES 

(fc) That the Japanese at K. L. had made arran- 
gements fot their proper arriving and 
training, P. O. W. resented this and refused 
to discuss, and a crisis arose. I in the 
presence of senior officers (P. O. W.). 
explained everything to the Jap officer 
and a final settlement was reached : 

That the P. O W. would perform only such duties 
as they are bound to do under the Interna- 
tional Law. 

2. That I resisted all Jap efforts to teach Jap 
drill, words of command, saluting, etc, to our men, by 
quoting Cebu incident. In March 1942, the Japs took 
away some Indian P. O. W. (A. A. Gunners) from 
Neesoon Camp on some pretext and made them fight 
against their wishes at Cebu, where a large number of 

^them were killed. 

3. That I secured excellent living conditions for 
-the men under my command. 

(a) Very light fatigues, regular pay, good rations 
(Mad an was Q. M.) Recreation, leave out of camps, 
prayers, cinemas, etc. 

4. That 21 men of S. and M. unit were taken 
away by the Japs and six of them were selected for 
execution for being M too Pro-British " during my 
absence on tour. On return I had all of them 
released. 

5. (a) That at a mass rally at Kuala-Lumpur in 
August ^1942, in the presence of approx. 15,000 men of 
all nationalities I stated that the Japanese should give 
up all ideas if they had any of making a puppet 



NOMINAL ROLL OF DEFENCE WITNESSES 205' 

I. N. A. and to understand that the Indian soldiers 
would fight them with all vigour if they found that 
the Japs had intentions of dominating India. 

(fe) That I refused to allow any of my men to 
carry a Jap flag to the meeting, although they tried 
to persuade me to do so, we carried only our National 
flag. 

(c) That there was no difference in the treatment 
and living conditions of P. O. W. volunteers. 

6. That I persuaded the Japs not to arrest Indian 
soldiers who had become civilians during the war and 
were earning their living as such. 

7. That all Camp Comds. in Malaya periodically 
sent names of new volunteers from their camps. 
Volunteers and non-volunteers were all living in the^ 
same units and camps. 

26. Sub. Fazal Din. Bengal S. and M . 
That I persuaded the Japs in his presence not 
to force the P. O. W. to take up arms or do drill 
(Jap) or saluting. 

27. Hav. Boston Khan. S. and M. 

28. Sy. Sarfaraz Khan. 

That the Japanese took them away and decided 
to execute them besides four others, and that I went 
and had them released, after my return from tour, 
That they had signed their " Will." 

29. Capt. H. L. Chopra. 17 Dogra Regt. 

1. Same as Lt. P. J. Madan 17. 

2. That I met him as Camp Comd. at Port, 
Sweturbam and delivered a lecture stating that : 



206 I. N. A. HEROES 

(a) The old I. N. A. had been broken and a new 
one raised, on the basic principle that there 
should be no force or coercion used to make 
anyone become a volunteer. 

(fr) That everyone who became a volunteer 
should be prepared to fight the Japs in 
India, if they were dishonest. 

(c) That I had come, because we felt we ought to 
ask all surplus volunteers if they still wished 
to remain in the I. N. A. 

3. That at Pyinmana in Feb. 1945, he acted as 
the defending officer for S. O. Mohd. Sharief who was 
** let off " and the decision of the court was promul- 
gated to him. 

4. That when the court was convened I was not 
present in Pyinmana, and had been apptd. offg. 
command, 2nd Div. 

i 30. Capt. A? I. S. Dara, 1/14 Punjab Regt. 

1. That at the Farrer Park we decided not to 
join the I. N. A. as there was danger of exploitation 
by the Japs. 

2. That at Neesoon we had a discussion in which 
Gen. M. Z. Kianisaid that M. S. would probably have 
some of us shot for our previous differences of opinion 
in our Bn. All of us took a pledge to help each other. 
We felt helpless and deserted for having been placed 
at his mercy. 

3. That at Neesoon we formed a " block " to 
resist the I. N. A* 



NOMINAL ROLL OF DEFENCE WITNESSES 207 

4. About this time concentration camps were 
started, an intensive propaganda -campaign was 
launched, and ruthless measures were being taken to 
humiliate those who opposed this movement. 

5. That my main concern was how to protect the 
P. O. W. 

6. That I refused any one out of my camp to be 
sent to the concentration camp, and when some people 
were forcibly taken I resigned in protest and they 
were released. 

7. That at the end of April I received an order 
from Mohan Singh's H. Q. with a typed copy of 
Biddadari resolutions, which were read out to all in 
accordance with the instructions. 

8. That at the time of Gill's departure to Bangkok 
I lectured to all officers and accused Gill of putting us 
in a very difficult situation. 

9. That for the undermentioned reasons the 
" Block " decided to join the I. N. A. : 

(a) There was no discipline left among the troops, 
and unit commanding officers were beaten. 

(fc) Cows and pigs were being killed in camps 
and there was a danger of communal riots. 

(c) Senior officers and men were being taken to 
concentration camps at the discretion of 
junior officers and N. C. O/s for no offence 
at all, and they were being put through 
very humiliating experiences. Life meant 
nothing to the organizers of this I. N. A. 
The Japs gave them full powers of life and 
death over us. Things looked very dark for 



208 I. N- A. HEROES 

us and we decided that the best thing for 
us officers was to join the I. N. A., gain 

control of it and give protection to the 
P. O. W. 

10. That at the end of May 1942, a lecture party 
arrived in Neesoon Camp to address all officers, who 
were asked to decide tinally whether or not they were 
going to become volunteers. I addressed the meeting 
as Camp. Comdt. and declared myself as a volunteer 
and told everyone to decide for himself. 

11. That in the afterhoon same day I called a 
meeting of Muslim officers in Mosque, and told them 
that the time for us to separate had come and that 
up till then I had given full support to them in my 
camp, but in future I foresaw great hardships tor 
them. I told them that I agreed with the stand they 
had taken and not to change it through fear. 

They then said a " Dua-Khair " to that eftect. 
Volunteers and non-volunteers were then 
separated but I always kept an eye on the 
P. O. W. and visited their camps frequently and saved 
a large number from concentration camp. I sent 
Dara and Sarwar many times to the D. P. M. to 
request him not to be too severe on P. O. W. who in 
majority of cases were innocent. 

12. That in June 1942 I was sent to K. L. as a result 
of trouble with Mohan Singh over Bangkok Confer- 
ence. That I met Dara at Ipoh in July and told him 
all about this trouble and that Mohan Singh was trying 
to get us out of the way, as he had realized our 
intentions, but that we were going to " stick in." 



NOMINAL ROLL OF DEFENCE WITNESSES 209" 

In Sept. 1942 1 returned to Singapore and that 017 
first task was a tour of P. O. W. camps in Singapore, 
where I found a reign of terror going on. Concentration: 
camp was full of officers. I visited this camp and had 
most ot them released. 

13. That I also tore up the lists of P. O. W. in? 
Seletar Camp who had decided to volunteer through 
coercion. 

14. In Nov. 1942 a crisis arose between Mohan 
Singh and the Japs. We took this opportunity as God 
sent to wreck the I. N. A. We held meetings of the 
" Block f> at Neqsoon and played an important part in 
wrecking the I. N. A. In Dae. 1942 Mohan Singh was 
arrested and taken away, and there were propa- 
ganda lectures by Mr. R&s Behari Bose and Fujiwara. 
I stated at that meeting that we did not take R. B. 
BDSC to be an Indian as his son was in the Jap- 
Army. 

15. [ also opposed the demand of the I. N. A, 
to have P. O. W. under theif command. 

16. Final lecture by Gen. Iwakuro at Biddadaru 
The impression of officers who considered it a very 
critical moment and senior ones kept out of the light, 
as it was feared that the Japs were looking for a few 
scapegoats, to keep the I. N. A. intact through sheer 
force. I was known to be a ring leader and my 
friends kept a keen watch over me and asked me not 
to speak* 

My reply to Gen. Iwakuro, 



210 I. N. A. HEROES 

17. At this stage it was clear that the Japs would 
keep the I. N. A. going at all costs, and that there 
were enough junior and unscrupulous element who 
would play in the Jap hands and become complete 
puppets, and possibly restart a worse era of terrorism. 

18. As a result of my reply to him Gen. Iwakuro 
agreed to allow all such men who came into the 
I. N. A. through fear, coercion and deceit to leave 
its ranks. As a result of this there was a general feeling 
of releif , and a feeling that a considerable amount of 
bloodshed had been averted. 

19. That the next day I was sent for by Gen. 
Iwakuro and offered the leadership of the I. N. A. 
returned and gave full details of the interview to my 
friends I still continued to remain out of the I.N.A. 
In Feb. 1943 I was offered the job of the Chief of 
Operations Branch D. M. B. and I still refused to come 
into the I. N. A. but later due to persuasion of Iwakuro 
had to join it. 

20. My talk with Dara : 

(<i) That I had committed myself too far in 
trying to get others out of the I. N. A. 
and that I advised all the rest of my friends 
to get out Capt. Imamuddin Sher Khan. 

(b) That since I was forced by circumstances to 
be in the I. N. A. my efforts were going 
to be directed to see that every one 
who wished to leave the I. N. A. was able 
to do so and without any danger of reprisals. 



NOMINAL ROLL OF DEFENCE WITNESSES 211 

(c) That those who remained in the I. N. A. 
were to be prepared even to fight against the 
Japs, if they proved dishonest. 
id) To stop the Japs exploiting us for their own 

benefit. 

1. In March 1943, the Japs took over control of 
all exrj. N. A. men and were going to send them to 
the Pacific Islands, where the conditions were, known 
to be very unpleasant. I, however, managed to save 
the undermentioned, most of them because they were 
too old to face such hardships. 

(1) Capt. Dilawarkhan; (2) S. M Channan Singh: 
(3) Lt. Shafi Abdulla C4) S. M. Lalkhan; (5) 
Capt. T. M. Khanzada; (6) Sub. Hazara Singh 
and a large number of other aged officers. 

22. Reorganization of the L N. A. units was then 
started, as approx. 3,000 officers and men had gone 
out of it. To fill up these gaps a party was sent to the 
mainland where there were a large number of surplus 
volunteers of the I. N. A. to inform them of what 
had taken place in Singapore and to iind out if any 
of them still wished to join the I. N. A. 4 For this 
officers with a previous knowledge of the mainland 
were sent, to make arrangements for any men to come 
to Singapore for purpose of joining the I. N. A. 

23. That at K. L. I found the Japs in control of 
a Rect. Training Centre, that I resented this strongly 
and on return reported to Col. Bhonsle and then went 
to see Col. Kawaga of the Hikari-Kikan. 

24. That during all this time I was not very 
happy as I found that the Japs were ruthlessly exploit- 



212 I N. A. HEROES 

ing us, and; my sympaties Jwere gwith the* P. Q. W. 
whose camps I visited regularly and* distributed medi- 
cines, money, etc., to them. 

25. In July 1943 Netaji S. C Bose arrived. We 
had never seen him before we watched him very 
carefully. In Aug. I told Dara that we had now a 
leader who would not let the Japs exploit us he would 
never sell India's honour for anything in the world 
and that I had completely changed my heart and from 
then onwards started working honestly for the 
movement. 

26 4 In Sept. 1943, No. 1 Grla, Regt. (Subhas Bde.) 
was raised and I got Command of it. While leaving 
Taiping in Nov. 1943 for the front, I told Dara that I 
had accepted the comma nd of No. 1 Regt. because : 

(a) The Japs were definitely going into 
India, and that there was every chance of 
their overcomin g the British resistance and 
carrying the fight into India. We had seen 
the Japs looting and raping in Singapore and 
were determined to see that it did not 
occur in India -if it did we would be able to 
turn round and fight the Japs. 

(b) Also I had a feeling that by my earlier 
actions I had kept a large number of Muslims 
out of the I. N. A., and that in the event of 
India being liberated they would be looked 
down upon in " Free India " for having taken 
no part in the fight for her liberation. So I 
felt an additional responsibility on those of 



NOMINAL ROLL OF DEFENCE WITNESSES 213 

us who were in it for making an extra effort 
to make up this deficiency and to prove that 
the Muslims were as patriotic and as willing 
to make supreme sacrifices for India's inde 
pendence as any other class or community. 

Doras Evidence 

27. Conclusion : 

(a) That I was mainly responsible for keeping 
a large number of people out Df Mohan 
Singh's I. N. A. and that I gave every possible 
assistance and protection to them. Their 
welfare was uppermost in my heart. 

(b) That I played a prominent part in bringing 

about the crisis, although 'through force of 

> 

circumstances I could not get out of it 
myself. 

(c) That after the arrival of Netaji I worked in 

the I. N. A. with the noblest of intentions 
and with tull determination of making 
the supreme sacrifice for being a soldier 
for the first to the last day of fighting 
in Burma concentrated on fighting, under 
the most adverse conditions. That 
having given my word of honour to 
Netaji to fight for India's Independence 
I stood by it. 

31. Capt. M. Riaz, 3116 Pb. Regt. 
1. Same as Data. In addition that in October 
lie was court-martialled as a part of. the campaign to 
clear the I. N". A. of the party within the party. 



214 1. N. A. HEROES 

32. Lt. M ohd. Sarwarkhan. 2/16 Pb. Regt. 
Same as Data, in addition that I did a lot for the 
P. O. W. especially at Seletat. 

33. That he was toy adjutant in Neesoon Camp hi* 
evidence from Feb. 1942 to March 1943 as that of Dara. 
34. Lt. Col. Loganadhan* I M.S. 

1. That during the crisis I played an important 
part against the I. N. A. 

2. That in Feb. 1943, 1 refused the offer of the 
Executive Committee to the post of " Chief of Opera- 
tions Branch. 1 ' 

35. Cavt. I. Hassan, 1/14 Pb. Regt. 

1. From the day of surrender till May 1942 
Same as Dara (19) (2627). 

2. That he was on the camp staff at Q. M. 
36. Cavt. M. A. Rashid, 1/14 Pb. Regt. 

Same as Dara. In addition, that in May 1942, 1 
went to the Naval Base and joined him On fatigue 
duties having given up command of Neesoon Camp in 
protest of the arrest of four Subedar Majors. Tha 
next day Cot. Gilani came and took me to my camp 
having given the assurance that 4 V. G O.'s had been 
released and that in future no one would be taken to 
the concentration camp without my consent. 

37. Cdvt. T. M. Khanzada, 5111 Sikh Regt. 

1. That he met me at the end 6f March 1942, 
when I told him all about the situation in Singapore 
and that we had fortned a block to resist the I. N. A. 
He kiso joined the Block, and organized artother 
"Block ! ' in Biddadari. Froml theaon till Sept. 1945 
his evidence is the seme as Data's. ..::,>. 



NOMINAL ROLL OF DEFENCE WITNESSES 215 

2. In addition that ^hen I returned from K. L. in 
Sept. 1942, Taj told me about the Kranji shooting 
incident and that he had been a member of C. M. 
assembled for the purpose of trying the gunners. H 
also stated that Mohan Singh had given them previous 
orders that the punishment awarded by the court 
would be death, and that the witnesses had been 
beaten before the court by the prosecution, and that 
neither he nor the president or other members had 
objected to this. That I had rebuked Taj for this, 
and had great sympathy with those who had been 
thus maltreated ani that during the crisis I gave 
money to Taj to distribute to the victims. 

3. That in Nov./Dec. 1942 heard about a shooting 
incident at K. L. and that some of men had been sent 
to Singapore to be tried by the I. N. A. Taj and I 
went to P. O. W. H. Q. and found five men were tied 
up there. Took steps to have them released and sent 
to P. O. W. camp in Seletar. 

38. Major Aziz Ahmed, Kapurthala Infy. 

1. That he met me after the surrender of Singa- 1 
pore and found that I was against the idea of the 
formation of an L N. A. (Taj-Dara-Irshad incident). 

*2. That when the Biddadari resolutions were 
being framed, for the purpose of creating an ob- 
struction, that I was the follower of Sir Sikander 
Hayat Khan, and the Muslim League, and that by the 
words " on call from the people of India " I under- 
stood it to be a call from them. 



: I. N. A. HEROES 

3. That a few days after this incident typed 
forms bearing the Biddadari resolutions were sent to 
all camp Comdts. with orders that these would be 
read out to all officers and brought to the notice of 
Sepoys by them. 

4. That soon after this (appro*. 23) another 
order from H. Q. was received, which ordered the 
Camp Commandants to 'assemble all officers for an 
address by a lecture party and that every one had to 
decide whether or not they accepted the Biddadari 
resolutions. The volunteers and non-volunteers were 
to be separated and lists of each category were asked for. 

Lecture tour party visited all camps, undermen- 
tioned were the members of the party. That I was 
not a member of it. 

5. That we both were present at a meeting f 
senior officers held at Mohan Singh's Bungalow at 
Mt. Pleasant to discuss membership for the forth- 
coming Bangkok Conference That I disagreed with 
the method and all present, including Mohan Singh, 
agreed with my proposal, but later he heard that I 
(Sub) had been sent to K. L. 

6. That in September 1942, 1 was recalled from 
K. L. to Singapore and posted to O. T. S. Neesoon 
where he was also stationed. 

7. That during the crisis we worked together in 
bringing the crisis to a head, we also held private 
meeting! in Neesoon for their purpose. 

a In Feb. 1943, Gen. Iwakuro addressed a meet- 
ing of all officers, appro*. 200/300 and tried to establish 



NOMINAL ROLL OF DEFENCE WH NESSES 217 

that the I. N. A. could not be disbanded and if anyone 
tried to create any disturbances, it would be treated 
as mutiny and that the Jap Army would assist that I 
replied and convinced Gen. Iwakuro of the immorality 
of keeping the I. N. A. going. His agreement to this. 

9. That the following day I was sent for by Gen. 
Iwakuro, and on return I (Sub.) told Ariz that I had 
been offered the leadership of the I. N. A. and that I 
refused it and told Iwakuro that the only way of 
starting a real I. N. A. was to call S. C. Bosc to 
Singapore. 

10. Later on he joined the I. N. A. as C. G. S. 
In May 1943, w* both were present, among many 
others Ogawa told that in the Arakans some Indians 
had been taken prisoners, but that due to the lack of 
food they were killed by the Japs. I (Sub.) replied to 
this and told Ogawa that it was a cold-blooded 
murder, as some of them might have come as a result 
of the I. N. A. propaganda and exhorted I. N. A. to 
cease all co-operation with* the Japs so as to absolve 
ourselves of all responsibility of the murder of Indian 
soldiers. 

11. That in Aug. 1943, a conference was held by 
Netaji at G. H. Q. All Regt. Comds. and above were 
present It was decided to raise a " Crack Regt. 11 
Reasons and objects of raising this Re*t. 

12. That he next met me in Rangoon in Oct. 
1944 after undergoing great hardships during the 
Iinphal operations. In Dec. 1944, I was sent to 



218 1. N. A. HEROES 

Mandalay to assist in the evacuation of 1 Div. to 
Pyinmana, and in March got command of No. 2 Div. 

Conclusion : 

(a) Phase (0 Risked his life on more than one 
occasion in his stand against the I. N. A. 

(6) Phase (2) when convinced of the sincerity of 
leader worked honestly under greatest hardships. 
MAIN POINTS FROM NETAJI'S LECTURES. 

41. Capt. Thahur S. 

42. Capt. Mahboob Ahmed. 

43. Cavt. P. S. Ratur. 

1. That the people inside India were labouring 
against great odds to secure their liberation, and that 
it was our moral obligation to assist them, while we 
were in a position to do so. 

2. That he was determined to see that the 
Indians themselves fought for and secured their own 
independence, and that it would be a treachery to our 
country to stay behind while the Japs invaded India. 

3. That for the coming fight he asked for true? 
volunteers, and gave ample opportunities^ to the 
wayerers to leave the ranks of the I. N. A. To the 
real volunteers he promised, thirst, hunger forced 
marches and in the end death, but in return for all this 
he promised them the liberation of their motherland. 

4. He also stated on several mass meetings that 
he regarded himself, provisional Govt. of India, and 
the I. N. A. as the servants of the people of India, to 



NOMINAL ROLL OF DEFENCE WITNESSES 

whom everything would be handed over oti our 
arrival thete. 

MY LECTURES TO THE REGIMENT : 



1. Reksons for which No. 1 Regiment was raised. 

That it was the cream of the I. N. A. and that every 
man in the Regiment must be prepared to pay the 
price of liberty with his blood. 

2. That the Japanese were going into India in the 
near future, and that by being among the foremost, it 
would be our duty to see that the Japs committed no 
excesses in India. 

Orders were issued that any soldier seeing a Jap 
or anyone else looting or raping in India was to shoot 
him at sight. 

3. That every member of the Regiment was to 
be on alert the whole time to see that by our actions 
we were not merely replacing the British by the Japs 
and every one was warned to be prepared at all times 
to turn round and fight the Japs if they proved 
dishonest. 

4. That no soldier was to accept any form of 
domination from the Japanese. 

5. Finally chances were given to everyone to get 
out of the Regiment it they did nzt feel equal to these 
tasks. At Taiping a large number including Lt. Khan 
Mohd. and Capt. Ilyas were left behind, and similarly 
at Rangoon. 

SOME INTERESTING INCIDENTS: 
1. Bose Bde. soldiers refused to carry Japanese 
Flags for purposes of co-operation with Jap airforce. 



220 1. N . A . HEROES 

so high was their nationalism and pride they consider- 
ed it an insult to carry another nation's flag into India 
ven for co-operation. 

2. That *the L N. A. soldiers refused to salute 
even the highest Jap officers when the Jap soldiers 
did not salute I. N. A. officers. 

3. That there were instances where the Jap units 
were put under direct command of I. N. A. officers. 

4. That there was a tendency among the I. N. A. 
soldiers to beat the Jap soldiers to establish their 
superiority, which they considered necessary to re- 
move any disillusions that any Jap may have about 
Indians. The Regt. Adjutant had to issue written 
orders to forbid this practice. 

5. That there were instances when the L N. A. 
had to open fire on the Japs. 

39. Jem. Han Singh, 6/14 Pb. Regt. 

That the Indian soldiers taken prisoners by the 
Japs and the I. N. A. were handed over to him, ap- 
pro*. 500 and that most of them were released by him. 

40. Lt. Ran Singh. 9 Jot. 

That the Chin Platoon captured by us was treated 
as P. O. W. and given the option of either staying 
with us or joining Nishikikan (Chin Army) and that 
they were treated very kindly. 



II. 

P. K. SAHGAL. 

NOMINAL ROLL OF DEFENCE WITNESSES. 
1. Major Aziz Ahmad. 

(a) Lt. Col. Hunt handing over ; speech at Farrer 
Park, 17th Feb. 1942. 

(fe) Maj. Fujiwara handed over Ind. P. O. W. to 
Capt. Mohan Singh, G. O. C., I. N. A., in the presence 
of Lt.-Col. Hunt. Many officers senior to Mohan 
Singh present among the P. O. W. no objections 
raised by Col. Hunt. 

(c) International character of Bangkok confer- 
ence and the resolutions passed there. 

(d) Gen. I'ojo and various other members of the 
Japanese Government made declarations regarding 
the Independence of India, from time to time. 

(e) The Prov. Government of Azad Hind was 
formed on the 21st October 1943. It was recognised 
by nine foreign Governments. Japanese Ambassador 
to the Prov. Government appointed. 

(f) The Prov. Government of Azad Hind de- 
clared war on Great Britain and America on the 22nd 
October 1943. 

(g) I. N. A. was a properly organised armed 
force, it wore uniforms and distinctive badges and 

221 



222 I. N. A. HEROES 

badges of ranks. It was governed by I. N. A. Act 
and various other rules and regulations. It waged war 
according to the civilised modes of warfare. 

(A) Existence and the Role bf I. N. A. was an- 
nounced to the world by Netaji immediately after the 
formation of the Prov. Government of Azad Hind 
and the I. N. A. was recognised by the nine foreign 
Governments. 

(i) When Netaji assumed Supreme Command of 
the I. N. A. every one was given the opportunity of 
leaving the I. N. A. if he wished to do so. 

(/) Japanese exercised no influence whatsoever 
in the working of the I. N. A. 

(k) I. N. A. was prepared to fight the Japanese 
if needed. 

(0 L N. A. was waging a war for the liberation 
of India, it was not a racial war. 

(m) Many Indian Army units from among the 
Ps. of W. were taken away by the Japanese to 
fight under their Command. Some Anti-aircrafts units 
were even taken to Sabu in 1942, before the forma- 
tion of the I. N . A. Netaji after a good deal of trou- 
ble with the Japanese brought them back into the 
I. N. A. These units were also given the option of 
either joining the L N. A. or reverting back to proper 
prisoners of war. 

(n) At the end of 1942, there was a crisis in the 
L N. A. Japanese then tried to raise a puppet army 
from among the civilians and certain Ps, of W. S. M. % 



NOMINAL ROLL OF DEFENCE WITNESSES 223 

Hakim Khan was brought from Hongkong to com- 
mand this army. Officers of the I. N. A. did not like the 
idea that Japanese should raise a puppet army and ex- 
ploit the Indians, therefore, they decided to force the 
Japanese to accept their terms. The Japanese realis- 
ing that they could not do without the support of sin- 
cere officers agreed to their terms. They also announc- 
ed that Netaji would soon be coming to assume the 
leadership of the Movement in East Asia so the 
I. N. A. was reorganised, 

(o) When the I. N. A. was reorganised only will- 
ing volunteers were taken in the I. N. A. and no one 
was forced to join. 

(p) Following meetings of Indian Delegates from 
East Asia were held in Singapore : 

(0 April 1943 to revise the constitution of the 
1. 1. L. 

() August 1943 to elect Netaji as President 
of L I. L. 

(i) October 1943 to form the Prov. Govern- 
ment of Azad Hind. 

(<y) In 1944, during the Bengal Famine Netaji 
offered 100,000 tons of rice to the Government of 
India. The rice had been secured from the Govern- 
ment of Burma and it was ready for shipment. 

(r) Territories of Andamans and Nicobars hand- 
ed over to the Prov. Government. Laganandan appoint 
ed Chief Commissioner. (Islands renamed Shaheed 
and Sawaraj). 



224 ! N. A. HEROES 

(5) Indian officers were not permitted to join 

clubs in Malaya. 

(t) 1942 disturbances in India owing to the cen- 
sorship no news from their sources. Japanese stories 
of peaceful Indian villages being bombed and machine- 
gunned from the air, processions and other peaceful 
citizens fired at by the British troops, great indignation 
caused among all the Indians of East Asia. 

(u) Shahnawar was in Rangoon till the 7th March 

1945. 

(GO After the surrender of Singapore the 

Japanese told us about the way in which the 
Indian civilians had been evacuated from 
Burma. The very worst route had been 
allotted to them and no arrangements for 
supplies and medical attention had been made 
en route. Over two lakhs Indians died ow- 
ing to starvation and diseases. On arrival in 
India, no arrangements had been made for 
their reception. 

(DD) After the surrender of Singapore the 
Japanese also told us the schemes of the 
British scorched earth policy in Burma 
how many villages and towns had been burnt 
and many inhabitants massacred. On arrival 
in Burma, we saw the destruction caused by 
the British with our own eyes. 

2. Lt. Col A. D.Loganadan. 
(a) Loganadan's potest to Brig Stringer re. senior 
officers being put under Command of Captain Mohan 
Singh. Stringer's reply "God help you." 



NOMINAL ROLL OF DEFENCE WITNESSES 225 

(W Refusal of the Rep. of Swiss Red Cross to 
visit the Indian Prisoners of War Camp in Singapore. 

(c) Declarations by the members of the Japanese 
Government re. Independence of India. 

(d) International character of the Bangkok con- 
ference and the resolutions passed there. ' 

O) The Prov. Government of A. H. was form- 
ed on the 21st Octobar 1943. It was recognised b/ 
nine foreign Governments. Japanese Ambassador to 
the Prov. Government appointed. 

(f) The Prov. Government of Azad Hind declar- 
ed war on Great Britain and America on the 22nd 
October 1943. 

(g) The I. N. A. was a properly organised force, 
it wore uniform and distinctive badges and badges 
of rank. It was governed by I. N. A. Act and various 
other rubs and regulations. It waged war according 
to the civilized modes ot warfare. 

(/i) Existence and the role of the I. N, A. was 
announced to the world by Netaji, immediately after 
the formation of the Prov: Government of A. H. 
and the L N. A. was recognised by the nine foreign 
Governments. 

(i) When Netaji assumed Supreme Command 
ot the I. N. A. every one was given the opportunity of 
leaving the L N. A. if he wished to do so. 

(y) Japanese exercised 'no influence whatsoever 
in the working of I. N. A. 

(fe) I. N. A. was prepared to fight the Japanese 
if needed. 



226 i. tf ;A. HEROES 

(I) I. N. A. was waging a war for the liberation 
of Indift it was not a racial wa*. 

. . (m) .Many Ifidian Army Units from among the 
Prisoners of War were taken away by the Japanese 
to fight under their Command. Some anti-aircraft 
units were even taken to Cebu in 1942, before the 
formation of the I. N. A. Netaji after a good deal 
of trouble with the Japanese brought them back into 
the I. N. A. These units were also given the option 
of either joining the I. N. A. or reverting back to pro- 
per Ps. of W. 

(n) At the end of 1942, there was a crisis in the 
1. N. A. Japanese then tried to raise a puppet army from 
among the civilians and certain Ps. of W. S. M. Hakim 
Khan was brought from Hongkong to command this 
army. Officers of the I- N. A. did not like the idea that 
the Japanese should raise a puppet army and exploit 
the Indians. Therefore they decided to force the Jap- 
anese to accept their terms. The Japanese realising 
Netaji would soon be coming to assume the leadership 
of the Indian Independence Movement in East Asia, 
*p the I. N. A. was re-organised. 

(o) When the I. N. A. was re-organised only 
willing volunteers were taken and no one was forced 
to join. .,,.,-' , 

(p) Following meetings of Indian delegates from 
fiaat Asia were held in Singapore : 

<O April 1943 to revise the constitution of 1. 1. L. 
' v 00* Aug. 1943 to elect Netaji ai i Prudent of L L L. 
Oct. 1943 teioMB the Fro?. Gort. 



NOMINAL ROLL OF DEFENCE WITNESSES 227 

', . : . . 

(4) In 1944, during the Bengal Famine Netaji 
ottered 1,00,000 tons of rice to the Govt. of India. 
The rice^ad been secured from the Govt. of Burma 
and it was ready for shipment. 

(r) Territories of Andamans and Nicobars were 

handed over to the Prov. Govt. of Azad Hind. 

Loganadan appointed Chief Commissioner and took 

.charge of the Adaman Islands renamed Shaheed and 

Sawaraj isles. 

(5) Indian officers were not allowed to join the 
dubs in Malaya a cause of heart-burning* 

(t) No Red Cross representative ever visited any 
Indian P. of W. camp in Singapore. 

(H) Protection accorded by the I. N. A, to the 
Indian Civilians in Burma after the Japanese had left. 
Murder incidents in Thingangyan, Rangoon, afier which 
Brig. Lauder requested the I. N. A. authorities to post 
guards in that area to protect Indian lives. 

(?) Surrender of I. N. A. Units in Rangoon. 
British request to wear I. A. badges of rank, etc., to 
avoid trouble between the I. A. and I. N. A. 



Great indignation caused by the British atro- 
-cities in 1942 in India. 

(x) After the surrender of Singapore the Japanese 
told us about the way in which Indian civilians had 
been evacuated from Burma. The British Govern- 
ment gave the worst route to .the Indians and no 
arrangements were mack ftt suppbes and medical 
attention in the way. Owing to starvation asd disease 



228 L N. A HEROES 

over 2 lakhs died in the way* On arrival in India, no 
arrangements whatsoever were made for their re- 
ception. v ^ 

3. Maj. AC, Z. Kiani. 

a, 6, c, d, e, f. g, A, i. j> k, I m, n % o, p, <r. r are same 
as for Maj. Aziz Ahmad. 

(u) Capt. I. J. Kiani administered liberated Indian- 
territory in Manipur area from t^e H. Qr& in Chamol. 

(t>) According to the understanding between. 
Netaji and the Japanes2 Gsneral H. Qts, the I. N. A. 
was recognised as an Allied army equal in status in 
every form. No one from the L N. A. was 4t any 
time subject to the Japanese Military Law whereas 
Phillipines, Burma and Nanking armies bad accepted 
such conditions under which members of their armed 
forces could be tried according to the Japanese Law 
and by Japanese courts, under certain conditions. 

O) Col. P. K. Sahgal had been given full power* 
of punishment by the Supreme Command. 

(#) No representative of Red Cross ever, visited 
any Indian Prisoner of War Camp. 

/ Cy) Difference between British and Indian Com- 
missioned Officers. 

(z) Low rates of pay of Indian Sepoys. 

(CC) and (DD) same as for Maj. Ariz Akmad, 

4. Car*. A. D. Jakan&r. 

a* b, c, d* , f> g, h, t, ; f i, 2, m, n. <r, ^ a. r, s and r 
same as Maj. Azir Ahmad. 



NOMINAL ROLL OF DEFENCE WITNESSES 229 



It was in the month of Oct. 1944 wfcen Lt. 
Col. A. D. Jahangir, Secretary, Recruiting and Training 
Deptt. H. Qrs., 1. 1. League, East Asia, was ordered by 
Netaji (President War Council) to proceed to North 
Burma on a recruiting tour. The recruiting party 
headed by Col. Jahangir left Rangoon in the middle of 
Oct. 1944. Reached Pegu the next day and convened 
a meeting of League officials (District Officer and 
others) and Japanese authorities (Chief of Kimpe Tai 
and others) were also requested to attend. 

(0 In a. meeting at Pagu in Oct. 1944 the Indian 
public complained to Col. Jahangir (Secty. R. and T. 
Deptt on, tow) about the removal of cattle by Japs 
specially Mori Butai authorities assisted by Burmese 
officials. (Burmese and Jap officials were present in 
the meeting). 

(tt) An enquiry was made on spot and a complete 
report submitted to Vice-President H. Qrs. 1. 1. League 
at Rangoon. 

(Hi) Reported to Officer in Charge I. L League 
(Sri Sarkar) who authorised 3ol. Jahangir to liase 
with (who arrived Pagu on the following morning on 
his way back to Rangoon) , Burmese and Jap authori- 
ties concerned and settle down the whole affair. 

(iv) Col. Jahangir explained the situation, reper- 
cussions, and the consequences to Burmese and Jap 
authorities and requested them to stop this action 
until the matter was finally decided by Mori Bontain 
H. Qrs. and Burmese Govt. (Ministry of Commodity 
andTtft). 



L K. A. HEROES 

(v) The same complaints were made b 
League Bros., on the way. The local Jap authorities 
were approached. 

(in) At Kyautaga 30 miles south of Ziawaddy, an 
Indian Grai>t under Jap Administration with a popu- 
lation of 9,000 Indians, the same complaint was 
strongly made and that of forced labour. The 
Burmese Tuggis had already fixed a date and warned 
local Indians to produce their cattle on certain spot. 
Local Burmese and lap authorities were approached 
too and the delivery of cattle was delayed for .some 
time. An elaborate report was prepared and des- 
patched to H. Qrs. in Rangoon, requesting them to 
meet Mori Bontai authorities and get orders cancelled. 

(vii) Col. Jahangir proceeded to Ziawaddy. The 
date of delivery of cattle approached, but no answer 
was received from Rgn. H. Qrs. due to bad communi- 
cation and transport difficulties. A party of one Jap 
officer and 20 O. R. arrived Kyautaga with transport 
to take the delivery. Few hundred Indian civilians 
demonstrated, but Japs informed them that they will 
take the delivery by to-morrow morning and use force 
if necessary. 

(vttt) Two men were despatched to Ziawaddy by 
the League's Chairman to inform the whole affair to 
Col Jahangir. The prestige and honour of B. G. A-EL . 
was at stake. Hence, Lt. Shiv Singh, O. C. Ziawaddy- 
Trg. Camp with armed guard was despatched to- 
Kyautaga. Col. Jahangir wrote a personal letter to 
p. C. Japs party and requested* him not -to take tfie 



NOMINAL ROLL OF DEFENCE WITNESSES 231 

delivery yntil Col. Jahangii^ return to Rangoon. Lt. 
Shiv Singh was given definite orders to use force if 
Japs misbehaved. 

(ix) Shiv Singh and party, arrived Kyantaga at 
4 P.M. the following morning and 9 met the Jap officer 
at6.A.M who was slightly rude. He wanted to use 
force, hut Shiv Singh told him that he too ha4 an 
armed guard with him and he will be compelled to use 
force against force. 

Indian Banner was helped and Japs withdrew. 

(v) Sahgals letter to Hikari Kikan regarding ex- 
change of compliments. 

O) Release of Naidu from the Japanese M. P. 

(CO and (DD) the same as for Maj. Aziz 

Ahmed. 

5. 

1. a, b, c, d % e, f % g," h, i f ;', k, I, m, n< o, p, q. r, s and t 
same as for Maj. Aziz Ahmad. 

(M) In Dec. 1942, Sahgal * was staying with 
Hussain and they often ^discussed the crisis in the 
I. N. A. Sahgal's views were "we should raake 
every effort to counter the Japanese efforts to raise a 
puppet army under S. M. Hakim Khan or any bne 
ebe. As the Japanese seemed to be determined to 
raise an army, it was essential that we should raise a 
strong I. N. A. consisting of true volunteers, who were 
not only willing to fight the British for the liberation 
of India but they must be prepared to fight the 
Japanese also if they failed to honour their pledge ? 

(v) Efforts of the Britisja and Free French 
authorities to induce the French men interned in St. 



i23E . I. N. A. HEROES 

John s wland to join the Free French forces in 1940 
J941. 

(v) F. ML S. Railway regulation prohibiting 
Asiatics to travel in the same compartment of a 
European. 

(#) Difference between British Officer's and 
I. C O.'a pay. 

(y) Low rates of pay of Indian Sepoys. 
(2) Shahnawazkhan left Rangoon 7th March 
1945. 

(ad) Chimpan clash between the Japanese and 
Thai Units. 

(fcfe) Magwe clash between the Japanese and 
B. D. A. 

(cc) and (dd) the same as for Maj. Aziz Ahmad. 
(ee) Discriminate treatment of Asiatics during 
the evacuation of Penang and Singapore. 

(ff) The first aid posts established in Singapore 
refused to give medical attention to Indian air raid 
casualties. 

(#g) Effect of news concerning 'the British atro- 
cities in India during 1942 disturbances. 

6. Capt. T. A. J^aidu. 

(a) At Popoa Sahgal in his lectures gave the 
option to each officer and soldier to return to 
Rangoon if he was unwilling to stay in the front line. 

(&) Sahgal in his lectures at Popoa told all the 
officers and men under his cpmmand that anyone 
wishing to go over to ttie idfies would be allowed to 
do so. 



NOMINAL ROLL OF DEFENCE WITNESSES 233 

(c) On the 28th April Sahgal sent a letter 
through Banta Singh offering the conditional surrender 
of the officers and men under his command to the 
Allies as prisoners of war. 

W) After the surrender, at first the officers 
were separated from the men, but later, they were 
allowed to rejoin them. Sahgal told us that it was 
done on his request and that lie had given the British 
Commander an assurance that he would be personally 
responsible for tke behaviour of his men during the 
period he $vas with them. On the night of the 28th 
there was exchange of fire between the Gurkhas and 
some Japanese. No incident caused by the I. N. A. 
troops. I. N. A. troops were only about 10 to 20 yards 
from the arms and ammunition that they had sur- 
rendered that day. 

(e) On the night of the 16th March 1945, during 
the raid of Pynbin 2/Lt. Joginder Singh beat a Japanese 
2/Lt. who had refused to advance along with the 
L R A. unit. 

7. C&pt. Mahboob Ahmad. 

{a) Mahboob sent a telegram to Sahgal, convey- 
ing the Supreme Commander's confirmation of the 
sentence of death passed in case of Ganga Ram, and 
giving full powers of punishment to Sahgal. 

(6) Divisional Commanders in the field were given 
full powers of punishment by the S. C 

(c) Sahgal was officiating commandant. No. 2 
Division in Popoa area during the period 13th Feb. to 
12th March 1945L 



234 I N. A. HEROES 

. (d) Difference between British Officers and 
LGO's pay. 

(e) Low rates of pay of Indian Sepoys. 

(/) Extreme indignation caused by the atrocities 
caused by the British in India during the 1942 disturb- 
ances. 

(g) Shahna wax Khan left Regiment on the 7th 
March 1945. 

(k) Indian Officers not admitted into clubs in 
Malaya. 

(cc) and (dd) the same as tor Major Azir 
Ahmad. 

8. Obtain J. IV. Rodergues. 

(a) Arshad, Sahgal and Rodergues met in July 
1944, and discussed rejoining the I. N. A. At the 
time it seemed very likely that the Japanese would 
soon be going into India and to save the Indians from 
the ravages of the Japanese and to ensure that there- 
would be strong armed body ready to oppose the Ja- 
panese in case they decided not to honour their pledg- 
es, it was decided to volunteer for the I. N. A. 

x ' 

(b) Discussions during the crisis, decision to join; 
the I. N* A. to counter the Japanese efforts' to- 
raise a puppet ajrmy. 

(c) In Magwe together in Ps. of War cage and 
accorded the treatment of Ps. of W. 

(d) Difference between British Officer sand 
LCO's pay. 

(e? tow fates of pay for Indian sepoys. ^ 



NOMINAL ROLL OF DEFENCE WITNESSES 233> 

(f) Indian Officers not allowed to become mem- 
bers of clubs. 

9. Cavtain R. M. Arshad. 

a, fe, c f d, e. f, g, fe, t, ;', &, J, m, n, o, p f <y 1% s* and t 
the same as for Major Aziz Ahmad. 

(u) In June-July Arshad, Rodrigues and Sahgaf 
met to discuss the subject of joining the I. N. A M de- 
cided to do so to save the Indians from the ;&vages of 
the Japanese and to be in a position to * fight the Ja- 
panese if they decidsd not to honour thei* pledges 
with regard to Indian Independence. 

(V) Discussions during the crisis, decided to join 
the L N. A. to counter the Japanese efforts to raise a 
puppet army. 

! , jf I 

(w) Protection of Indian civilians in Burma after 
the Japanese had left. 

(*) Surrender of I. N. A. in Rangoon, British re- 
quest to the I. N. A. to wear L A. badges of rank, etc*, 
to avoid trouble with the I. A. 

(y) No Red Cross representative ever visited- 
any Indian P. O. W. Camp. 

(z) Difference batween British Officers and* 
I.C.O's pay. 

(aa) Low rates qf pay for Indian sepoys, 
(cc) and (dd) tlu same as for Major Aziz* 
Ahmad. 

(ee) Discrimination between the Europeans 
and Asiatics during the evacuation of Singapore. 



236 t N. X 

(ff) The firts aid posts set up in Singapore re- 
lused to treat Indian air raid casualties. 

10. Subedar Banta Singh. 

(a) In Rangoon Sahgal told all ranks in the 
Regiment, that those wfio go to the front must be 
prepared to face great hardships and on arrival in 
India willing to fight against the Japanese if they did 
not honour their pledges, and such persons who were 
not willing or. fit to face these hardships should give 
their names to him and arrangements would be made 
to give them jobs in Rangoon. 

(i) A number of such persons who were either 
unfit pr unwilling to go to the front were transferred 
to the Reinforcement group and no action was taken 
against anyone. 

(c) Sahgal told all ranks in the Regiment that 
in Burma, their behaviour towards the Burmese and 
other people should be exemplary. They should be 
as their friends and not oppressors. "In India," he told 
all his officers and men, " they should feel that they 
are the servants of their people and not as masters/' 

(d) After arrival in Popoa, Sahgal gave an op- 
tion of going back to Rangoon, to all those who could 
not stand up the danger and hardships of the front 
line. 

(e) In Popoa Sahgal also gave an option to all 
ranks of his Regiment that they could go over to the 
Allies. In such cases they would ^ not be allowed to 
take any arms or papers with them and arrangements 



NOMINAL ROLL OF DEFENCE WITNESSES 237 

would be made to allow them a safe passge through 
the I. N. A. sentries. 

(f) On the 28th of April Sahgal sent a letter 
offering the conditional surrender of the officers and 
men under his command as Prisoners of War to the 
British Commander in Magigaon area. Banta Singh 
carried the letter and the British Commander accept- 
ed the conditional surrender. If the conditional sur- 
render had not been accepted it were possible to con- 
tinue fighting. 

(g) After the surrender, first the Officers were 
separated from the men, but later they were allowed 
to rejoin them. Sahgal told us that it was done on 
his request and that he had given an assurance to the 
British Commander that he would be personally res- 
ponsible for the behaviour of all ranks under his 
Command. That night, there was exchange of fire 
between the Gurkhas and the Japanese, no disturban- 
ces caused by the I. N. A. I. N. A. troops were only 
10 to 20 yards from the arms and ammunitions that: 
they had surrendered that day. 

(A) In Magwae Sahgal, I and the rest of the unit 
were in a P.O.W. cage. 

(0 In March 1945, Banta Singh put up about 5 
meq including Mr. Ahmad Khan before Colonel Sahgal, 
These men were charge i with desertion. Sahgal par- 
doned these men and let them off. 

G) On the 16th March during the raid on P$n~ 
bin 2/Lt. Jogindar Singh slapped the Japanese 2/Lt. 



.238 L N. A. HEROES 

(i) Sahgaltbad issued *der that any Jap who 
.misbehaved was to be beaten up. 

(I) Before the Regiment left Rangoon, Sahgal 
'issued order that all Prisoners of War were to be 
treated kindly. 

12. Havaldar Shiv Singh. 

To corroborate Captain Jehangir's statement re- 
garding Kyantaga incident. 

13. Captain A. B. Singh. 

Certain men of No. 2 Infantry Regiment were 
sent back from Popoa, because they were unwilling to 
-stay intthe front line. No action was taken against 
jmy of them. 

14. Captain S.V. Knshnan^ 

In 1942 when Krishnan was serving with the 
7/10 Baluch Regiment id Burma a report was received 
describing a patrol action carried out by troops under 
S*h gal V Command in Malaya. 

15. Captain Gulzara Singh. 

a. b< c, d, e* f. g, h, t, ;", i, I m, n f , p, q, r, s and t 
^he same as for Major Aziz Ahmad. 

( ) Corroborate Major Kiani's Statement re- 
garding the understanding concerning the I. N. A. 
andyed at between Netaji and the Japanese General 
Head Quarters. 

(v) Difference between the rates of pay of the 
Mash Officers and the I.C.O's. ; 

0*) Low rates of pay for the Indian sepoys in 
M*laya. 



NOMINAL ROLL OF DEFENCE WITNESSES 239 



Extreme indignation caused by the British 
atrocities during the 1942 disturbances. 

GO Tfee fight put by Sahgal during the discussion 
with the Japanese regarding the understanding con- 
cerning the I. N. A. 

16. Lt. Col Hunt. 

(a) Handing over ceremony at Farter Park on 
the 17th February. 

(6) Lt. Col. Hunt was present when Fujiwara 
handed oyer the Indian Ps. O. W. to Captain Mohan 
Singh. G, O. C, L N. A. 

(c) Lt. Col. Hunt made no protest about the 
handing over of the Senior Officers of the I. A. to 
Capt. Mohan Singh. 

17. Lt. Col P. W.Davis 

Information he had received regarding Sah gal's 
work during the Malayan Campaign. 

When the 2/10th Baluch Regiment arrived in 
Kot Bham, the local people were very frightened of 
the Indian soldiers, because of the high-handed treat- 
ment acco rded to them by one Coy, of Indian troops 
which was sent there to quell a rising. 

18. Captain Rashid Yusuf AIL 

(a) Yusuf Ali examined a number of persons 
who had served under Sahgal's Command and they 
told him that Sahgal had given every one under his 
Command tha opportunity to go over to 'hii allies if 
ar one wished to do w, : * > 



240 I. N. A. HEROES 

(6) Sahgal was living in a Prisoner of War cage 
in Magwe when he met him. 

,19. Major A. K. Dass. 

Up to July 1942 Sahgal was- living in Tengah aero- 
drome Camp which was a non- volunteer Camp. About 
3 months before that Ofticer an 1 men had b^en asked 
to volunteer on the basis of the Bidailari resolution 
and the volunteers and non-volunteers had been put 
in separate Camps. 

20. Captain Zahir-'ud-Din. 

Zahir was dropped by the Allies in Burma to carry 
out espionage work for them. He was arrested 
by the Japanese .Military Police and it was mainly 
through Sahgal's efforts that was released, 

21. Major Ghanshyam Singh. 

(a) Certain Officers and men from among the 
Indian Ps. O. W. in Singapore were taken away by 
the Japanese and Ghanshyam Singh was one of them. 
They were being forced against their wishes to . take 
up arms and to do guard duties. They appealed to the 
D. N. B., I. N. A. and it was through the effoits of . 
the I. N. A. that they wera released. Sahgal played 
an important part in this. 

(&) No Rid Cross representative ever visited the 
Indian RO.W. camps in Singapore. 

22. Major Aung Sen. 
(a ) Origin of the B, D. A. and its objects in 1941, 

(ft) B. D. A. contained a number of penoot k 
had once belonged to the British armed f irces. 



NOMINAL ROLL OP DEFENCE WITNESSES 241 

(c) B. D. A. and I. N. A. used to hold combined 
staff conferences with the Japanese. 

(d) B. D. A. fought against the Allied forces. 

23. Colonel Kyado. 

a< b, c, and d the same as for Major General Aung 
Sen. - 

(e) Col. Kyado was once in tfre Indian Army, 
i.e. t 2/lst Punjab Regiment and later transferred to the 
Burma Military Police. 

24. Major General Kajmura. 

(a) The I. N. A. had been accorded the status of 
an Allied Army by Japan and functioned as such. 

(fe) In 1944, Staff Officers of the I. N. A., B. D. A. 
and Japanese Gensral Head Quarters used to Hold 
combined conferences. 

(c) B. D. A. was armed, equipped and trained by 
the Japanese and it fought against the Allied Force. 

25. Lt. Col. Thein Haw. 

Some as Major General Aung Sen. 

26. Lt Col. Fujiwara. 

(a) Lt. Col. Hunt on behalf of the British 
Government handed over the I. Ps. of W. to him as 
the representative of the Japanese Government. 

(fr) Lt. Col. Fujiwara handed over the Indians 
to Captain Mohan Singh, G. O. C., I. N. A., in tbe 
presence of Hunt. Hunt raised no objection ott this 
procedure. 



I. N. A. HhROES 

(c) Declaration by* General Tojo and other mem- 
bers of the Cabinet regarding Independence. 
27. Lt. Col Takaki. 

(a) Recognition of the Prov. Government of 
Azad Hind by nine foreign powers. 

. (&) Recognition ot the I. N. A. as an Allied 
Army, equal in status by the Japanese and other 
foreign Governments. 

(c) Declaration of war on Great Britain and 
America by the Prov. Government of Azad Hind. 

(d) Handing over of the Andamans and Nicobar 
Islands to the Prov. Government of Azad Hind. 

(e) Administration by I. N. A. Officers ot the 
liberated areas. 

(f ) Sahgal's independent attitude and the refusal 
to allow the Japanese to interfere with the I. N. A. t 
affairs. 

(g) Zahir-ud-Din's release due entirely to Sah- 
gal's efforts. 

(fe) Combined Staff Conference of the I. N. A., 
B. D. A. and Japanese Staff Officers. 

(i) The B. D. A. had accepted terms according to 
which personnel of the B. D. A. could be tried accord- 
ing to the Japanese Law by Japanese Courts under cer- 
f&in conditions, but Sahgai on behalf of the I. N. A. 
bad categorically refused to Accept such terms. 

0) Sahgai on behalf of the I. N. A. had catego- 
rically refused to subordinate the I. N. ^ Military 
Police to the Japanese Military Police. 



* 

NOMINAL ROLL OF DEFENCE WITNESSES 243 



Sahgal, on behalf of the I. N. A. had refused 
to allow any. inf or matioh of the I. N: A. being placed 
under the Unified Command of the Commander of a 
lower Japanese formation, even if the Japanese Com- 
mander concerned was senior in rank to the I. N. A. 
Commander, whereas the Burmese and certain other 
authorities had accepted it. 

28. Representative of the Japanese Foreign 

Office. 

* 

(a) Declaration by the Japanese Government 
regarding In lian Independence. 

(i) Recognition and status of the Indian Inde 
pendence League. 

(c) International character of the Bangkok Con- 
ference and the resolutions passed at the Confer- 
ence. 

(d) Formation of the Prov. Government of Azad 
Hind on 21st October 1943. Recognition by Japan and 
eight other Governments. 

(0) Terms of the treaty between 'the Prov. Go- 
vernment of Azad Hind and the Government of 
Japan. 

(f) Recognition of the I. N. A. as an Allied 
Army by Japan and other powers. 

(g) 'Declaration of war by the Prov. Govern- 
ment of Azad Hind on Great Britain and America on 
22nd October 1943. 

00 Handing over of the Andamans and the Ni- 
cobaxs to the Prov. Government of A. H. 



244 I- N. A, HEROES 

(0 Diplomatic Delations established between the 
Government of Japan and the Prov. Government of 
India. Japanese Ambassador appointed. < 

29. Lt. Gen. Ishoda. 

a, 6, c, d t e> f, g> h, and i the same as for witness 
No. 28. 

(;) I. N. A. was properly organised armed body, 
wore uniform and distinctive badges of rank and 
fought according to the civilised forgis of warfare. 

. (k) No Japanese influence in the working of the 
I. N. A. 

(I) Sahgal's independent attitude and his refusal 
to allow the Japanese to interfere in any manner in the 
working of the I. N. A. 

(m) Contents of the understanding re. the I. N. A. 
arrived at between Netaji and the Japanese General 
Head Quarters. 

30. 3V. Raghavan 

(a) Aims and the early history ot the Indian In- 
dependence Movement in East Asia. 

(ft) Tokyo Conference, 1942. 

(c) Japanese declarations regarding Indian Inde- 
pendence. 

(d) International character of Bangkok Confer- 
ence and the resolutions passed therein. 

(0) Functions of the Council of Action and the 
working of the L I. L. 

Qirifr December 1942. 



NOMINAL ROLL Of DEFENCE WITNESSES 245 

% 

4 (g) Formation of the Prov. Government and its 
recognition by foreign Governments, 

(A) Declaration of war by the Prov. Govern- 
ment of Azad Hind on Great Britain and America. 

(0 I. N. A. was an organised armed force, 
wearing uniforms, distinctive badges and badges of 
rank. 

(j) 1. N. A. fought according to the recognised 
rules of civilised warfare. 

(fe) Independent attitude of Sahgal towards the 
Japanese. 

( 2) Indignation caused by British atrocities during 
1942 disturbances. 

31. ^Subedar Thayacrajjan. 

(a) Before leaving Rangoon, Sahgal warned all 
officers and men under his command that their be- 
haviour towards the population of Burma should be 
exemplary. Furthermore on arrival in India they 
should work as the servants cf the Indian people. 

(fc) In Popoa Sahgal gave the option of going 
back to Rangoon to all those persons undet his Com- 
mand, who were unwilling to stay in the front line. 

(c) In Popoa Sahgal offered a safe passage 
through his lines to all those persons, who wished to 
go over to the Allies. 

(d) On the 28th of April 1945 when the Confer- 
ence of all the Officers decided to surrender, Sahgal 
wrote a letter offering the conditional surrender of the 



246 i. N. A. HEROES 

officers and a*ea under bis command, a* P. Q, W. to 
the Allied Commander. This conditional surrender 
was accepted and we surrendered as P.O/JMtf. If the 
conditional surrender had not bsen accepted, it was 
possible for us to continue fighting and all the officers. 
and men were determined to carry on fighting to the 
bitter end. 

(e) After the surrender, first the officers were 
separated from the men, but they were allowed to re- 
join them. Sahgal told us that it was done on his re- 
quest and that ha had assumed responsibility for the 
good behaviour of the officers and men under his 
command. That night there was exchange or fire 
between the Gurkhas and some Japanese. No distur- 
bance caused by the I. N. A. I. N, A, men only 10 to 
20 yards trom the arms and ammunitions that they 
had surrendered that day. 

(f ) In Magwe we were all in a P. O. W. cage. 

(g) Col. Sahgal had issued orders in his Regi- 
ment that every one in the Regiment must uphold his 
dignity while dealing with the Japanese. If anyone 
acted otherwise, he would be severely dealt with. 



Sahgal had issued orders that if any Jap 
misbehaved himself he should be given a thorough 
beating. 

(;) Firing on Indian Labourers in Khaug. 

(&) Discriminate treatment accorded to the Asi- 
atics during, the evacuation of Penang. 



NOMINAL ROLL OF DEFENCE WITNESSES 247 

32, Doctor S. Lakskmi. 

(a) Prov. Government of Azad Hind was formed 
on the 21st October 1943. It was recognised by nine 
foreign Governments. 

(fe) The Prov. Government declared war oa 
Great Britain and America on the 22nd October 
1943. 

(c) Soon after the formation of the Provisional 
Government Netaji made an announcement to the 
world about the formation of the I. N. A. and its ob- 
jects. 

(d) The I. N. A. was a regular armed force, 
wearing uniforms, distinctive badges and badges of 
rank and fought according to the recognised civilised 
form of warfare. 

(e) In 1944, Netaji offered to send 100,000 tons 
of rice to India to relieve the famine-stricken Bengal. 
This rice was ready for shipment. 

(f) Sahgal continuously worked to keep the 
I. N. A. clear of the Japanese influence. He always 
aimed to couater all Japanese efforts to exploit the 
I. N. A. or the Indians. 

Cg) Extreme indignation caused by the British at- 
rocities during the 1942 disturbances. 

(h) Firing on Indian labourers on Khaug. 

(t) Discrimination shown to Asiatics during the 
evacuation of Penang and Singapore. 

33. Mr. A. Vellavva. 

a, 6, c, d, e, f, g, h and t the same as Doctor S, 
Lakshmi. 



248 L N. A. HEtOES 

0*) Money collected in East Asia by the Prov. Go- 
vernment was entirely through voluntary contribu- 
tions. 

34. Copt. L J. K4am. 

a, b, c, d, e, f, g, fc, t, j. k, I, m, n, o, p, a, r, s and t 
the same as Maj. Aziz Ahmad. 

() L ]. Kiani administered liberated Indian terri- 
tory in Manipur area. 

GO No representative of the Red Cross ever 
visited any Indian P. O. W. camp in Singapore. 

(i*0 Difference between the British and L C. O/s 
pay. 

(x) Low rates of Indian sepoys. 

35. Capt.S. A.Mahk. 

a, b, c, d, e. f, g, h, t, j, fe, I m, n, o, p, q, r, s and t 
the same as Maj. Aziz Ahmad. 

(w) Capt. Malik administered the liberated areas 
in Bishanpur sector. 

(j>) No Red Cross Rep. ever visited aay Ind. 
P. O. W. camp in Singapore. 

36. Capt.S.W- Gupta. 

a, fe, c, d, e t /, g, A, t f ;\ fe, 1, m, n, o, v, q, r, s and t 
the same as Maj. Aziz Ahmad. 

(u) Sahgal's constant efforts to counter Japanese 
efforts to interfere in L N. A. affairs or to try and 
exploit Indians. 

(v) No Red Cross rep. ever visited any Ind. 
P. O. W. camp in Singapore. 



N OMINAL ROLL OF DEFENCE WITNESSES 249 

O) Difference between the pay of the British 
and I. C O.'s. 

Gc) Low rates of pay of the Indian sepoys in 
Malaya. 

GO Europeans and Asiatics not allowed to travel 
in the same railway compartment in Malaya. 

37. Jem. Hari Singh. 

500 Ind. P. O. W. saved in Kolumia area from the 
Japanese. 

38, Mr. S. C. Goho. 

a, 6, c, d, e, f % g, h, i and ; the same as Mr. 
Raghavan. 

() Discrimination shown to the Asiatics during 
the evacuation of Penang and Rangoon. 

(Z) The 1st aid posts in Singapore did not give 
treatment to Indian air raid casualties. 

39. Capt. A. 5V. Kashap. 
The help given by Sahgal to the Prisoners of War. 

40. Capt. K. L. Saleem. 

(a) Letter written by Sab gal to Hikari Kikan re- 
garding exchange of compliments. 

(6) Sahgals fight with Hikari Kikan re. the camps 
in Malaya. 

(c) Incident regarding the move of No. 4 Eng. 
Company, 



250 |. N. A. HEROES 

BATTLE OF JITRA. 

1. Sahgal on taking over command of No. 2 Inf. 
Regt. addressed the officers and men of each unit 
under his command in turn and told them : 

(a) We should consider ourselves fortunate that 
we have been given this opportunity to fight for the 
liberation of our motherland. We are fighting for a 
sacred cause and none of us should have any desire 
for personal gain. We are the vanguards of the future 
National Army of India and it is our duty to create 
such traditions, which future members of the Indian 
National Army would be proud to follow. We should 
conduct ourselves in such a manner that our foreign 
Allies should feel prDud to be associated with us. 
Our behaviour towards the inhabitants of Burma 
should be friendly and helpful. On entry into India, 
we should conduct ourselves as the servants of our 
people and should do our best to help them in every 
manner and to work to alleviate their sufferings. Any 
officer or other rank of the I. N. A. who did not 
conduct himself properly would be severely dealt 
with. 

(fe) We are lighting against an Imperialist Power, 
which has vast resources of men and material at her 
disposal. Compared to our enemy our numbers are 
small, and equipment poor. Therefore those who 
are going to participate in this battle must realise that 
they are going to fight against heavy odds. Every 
one who goes to the front must be prepared to face 



NOMINAL ROLL OF DEFENCE WITNESSES 25$. 

haodships, hunger, thirst, sufferings, dangers and 
finally death. If there is any one who is either 
mentally or physically , unfit to face these hardships 
and dangers must give his name to his Platoon Com- 
mander, and arrangements will be made to fit such 
persons into employment at the base. 

After these lectures a number of men who were 
either unwilling or unfit to proceed to the front were 
transferred to the Reinf. Gp. and no disciplinary action 
was taken against anyone. 

2. As each unit of No. 2 Inf. Regt. arrived at 
Popa, Sahgal addressed the officers and men of that 
unit and told them : 

(a) " Now, you have seen something of the life m 
the front line and if there is anyone among you who 
finds himself incapable of facing its dangers and hard- 
ships he should let me know and I will arrange for 
him to go back to Rangoon," 

Two men of the signal platoon represented that 
they wished to go back to Rangoon. They were sent 
back to the Div. H. Q. to be despatched to Rangoon. 
No action was taken against them. 

(fe) 'There may b some persons among you who 
are desirous of going over to the British. I do not wish 
to hold you back against your wishes. Therefore, 
those of you who want to go over, should give me 
their names and i shall arrange for them to go safely 
through our lines. Such persons must go in one group 
and I do not like men going away in ones or twos. 



252 I. N. A. HEROES 

Persons going over to the British would not be allowed 
to take any arms or papers with them." 

3. Sahgal had issued orders in the regiment that 
every officer and man in the regiment should uphold 
Ids dignity with the Japanese. Any one found acting 
otherwise would be very severely dealt with. 

Sahgal had also issued instructions that if any 
Japanese misbehaved towards any member of the 
I. N. A. f such a Japanese should be given a thorough 
beating and that Sahgal would assume full responsibi- 
lity for the consequences. 

.On the 16th March 1945, one Coy. of No. 21 Iri 
Reg. under command of 2/Lt. Joginder Singh attacked 
Pyinbin, two Japanese Sees, under a 2/Lt. were under 
command of 2/Lt. Joginder Singh. At one stage the 
Japs refused to advance any further, thereupon 2/Lt. 
Joginder Singh slapped the Japanese 2/Lt. and forced 
them to advance further. 

4. In March 1945, Corad. No. 3 Ba. reported that 
two officers under his command, 2/Lts. Narinder Singh 
and Ismail were conspiring to desert. Col. Sahgal 
called these officers and questioned them. The 
officers protested their innocence and although there 
was sufficient proof available against these officers, 
Sahgal decided to give them another chance and trans- 
ferred them to No. 1 Bn. 2/Lt. Narinder Singh desarted 
shortly afterwards. 

5. In March 1945, Comd. No. 2 Bn. produced five 
prisoners including one Ahmad Khan in front of Col. 



NOMINAL ROLL OF DEFENCE WITNESSES 25$ 

SahgaL All these men were? charged with desertion. 
All the accused persons pleaded guilty but said that 
they deserted in a moment of weakness and if they 
are given another chance, they would L carry out 
their duties satisfactorily. Sahgal pardoned all the 
accused persons and set them free. 

6. Sahgal had issued orders . in the Regt. that if 
any prisoners of war were captured by the members 
of the Regiment, such prisoners must be treated kindly 
and on no account was any prisoner, whether he was* 
an Indian, British or aa American, to be beaten or 
ill-treated in any other way. This :>rder was issued 
when the Regt. was ordered to move from Rangoon. 

7. On the 28th April, at Magigaon, Col, Sahgal 
called a curfew of all the officers under his command, 
and acquainted them with the current situation and 
told them the alternatives in front of them. All the 
officers after discussing the situation with their men 
decided to surrender as "Prisoners of War.". Sahgal 
wrote a letter to the Allied Comd. in which he said 
that he had offered the conditional surrender of the 
officers and men under his command as Prisoners of 
War. Capt. Banta Singh took this letter and later 
told me that the Allied Comd. had accepted the con- 
ditional surrender. It this conditional surrender had 
not been accepted, the officers and men were deter- 
mined to fight to the last. We had sufficient arms and 
ammunition to do so, 

8. After the surrender, on orders from the British 
Comd., all the officers were separated from the 



254 I. N, A. HEROES 

Later Sahgal told me that we could rejoin the men. 
He explained that he had spoken to the British Comd. 
about the separation of the officers from the men, 
but he had argued that this was the proper procedure 
in case of Prisoners of War. Later, however, when 
Sahgal gave fcim an assurance that if the officers were 
permitted to rejoin the men, he would be personally 
responsible for the behaviour of the men, the Br. Comd. 
had agreed to allow the officers to rejoin the men* 
That night the Gurkha Bn. was attacked by the Japs 
but there was no incident among our men although 
the arms and ammunition that we had surrendered 
that day, were only 10 to 20 yds. away from us. 

9. In Magwe our unit was put into a Prisoner of 
War cage and we were treated as P. O. W. I. N. A. 
officers were separated from the men. 

10. It is only heresy that I learned that Mohd. 
Hussain belonged to the Indian Army. I have no defi- 
nite information on the subject. 



NOMINAL ROLL OF DEFENCE WITNESSES 255 

SPECIAL .INCIDENTS 
1. Comvliments. 

In 1944, when Colonel P. K. * Sahgal was in 
charge of Head Quarters Supreme Command in Ran- 
goon, a letter was received from the Hikari Kikan, 
complaining that the soldiers of the I. N. A.* did not 
salute the officers of the Japanssa Army. In reply 
Colonel Sahgal wrote that originally orders had been 
issued for the exchange of salutes on reciprocal basis 
between the officers and men of the I. N. A. an J the 
Japanese officers and men, but as the Japanese soldiers 
did not salute the I. N. A. officers, the Japanese Army 
should not expect the I. N. A. soldiers to salute their 
officers. 

Witnesses : 

1. Lt. D. C. Nag. 

2. Captain K. M. Saleem. 

3. Captain A. D. Jehangir. 

2. Arrest of an Indian Civilian Recruit. 
About August, 1944, the Japanese Military Police 
arrested an Indian civilian recruit Naidu, who was 
undergoing training at the Gowshala Camp Rangoon, 
on a charge of sabotage. Colonel A D. Jehangir, Secy. 
1/L Recruiting and Training reported the matter to 
Colonel P. K. Sahgal Head Quarter Supreme Com. 
I. N. A. Colonel P. K. Sahgal approached the 
Japanese M. P. for the release of Naidu, but the 
Japanese refused. Sahgal then made it clear to the 
Japanese authorities that if they did not release Naidu, 
he would use armed force to take him out ot their 



256 I. N. A. HEROES 

custody. The P. M., thereupon, agreed to release 
him. 

Witnesses : 

Captain A.D. Jehangir. 
3. Camps in Rangoon. 

End of July, a number of new I. N. A, units were 
expected in Rangoon, but no Camps were available to 
accommodate them. Repeated references to the Japa- 
nese authorities were of no avail. Eventually a num- 
ber of buildings beloning to Indians who had evacuated 
from Burma were taken charge by the I. N. A. under 
orders of Colonel Sahgal. These buildings were actu- 
ally under the charge of the Japanese Military au- 
thorities who had reserved them for .the Japanese 
units which were expected to arrive in Rangoon. The 
Japanese asked the I. N. A. to vacate the buildings 
but Sahgal refused to do so unless suitable accommo- 
dation was provided for the I. N. A. units and posted 
armed guards on the buildings in question. The Japa- 
nese threatened to take possession of these build- 
ings by force. Sahgal retaliated by saying that he 
would order the I. N. A. sentries to open tire at any 
one attempting to take possession of the buildings. 
Eventally the Japanese had to climb down and the 
buildings were occupied by the L N. A. units. 

The buildings in question were Gandhi Niwas,. 
B. E. T. High School and Raidar. High School. 



Lt. D. C Nag. 
Captain K. M. Saleem. 



NOMINAL ROLL OF DEFENCE WITNESSES 257 

4. Unified Command. 

The Japanese General Head Quarters in Rangoon 
issued instructions that, when units of the I. N. A. or 
B. D. A were placed under the unified Command of 
a Japanese Commander, then, in certain cases the 
members of the I. N. A. or B. D. A. could be tried 
according to the Japanese Military law and by Japa- 
nese Courts. The B. D. A. accepted it, but Sahgal told 
the Japanese that I. N. A. under no circumstances 
would accept such an order and eventually the Japa- 
nese had to cancel this order. 

Witnesses : 

Major M. Z. Kiani. 
Captain Gulzara Singh. 
Captain I. J. Kiani. 
Lt.-Colonel Takaki. 

5. In May 1944, No. 4 Engineer Coy. of the I. N. A t 
was detailed to leave Rangoon for the front. The Jap* 
anese had made all transport arrangements for they 
failed to provide good quality boots for the company. 
Sahgal threatened that unless good boots were provid- 
ed he Coy. would not proceed to the front. The 
Japanese pleaded that such a postponement would 
completely upset their transport arrangements, but 
Sahgal refused to allow this Coy. to move unless the 
boots were r forthcoming. Eventually the Japanese 
produced the required boots. 
Witnesses : 

Captain K. M. Saleem. 

6. Colonel P. K. Sahgal, Commander No. 2 Inf. 
Regiment, had issued orders in his Regiment that if any 



258 I. N. A* HEROES 

Japanese soldier or officer misbehaved towards any 
1. N. A. person the I. N. A. men should give him a tho- 
rough beating and that Sahgal would assume full 
responsibility for the concequences. 
Witnesses : 

Havaldar Ghulam Mohammad. 

Subedar Banta Singh. 

Subedar Thayagarajan. 

7. On the night of 16th March 1945, one Coy. of 
No. 2 Inf. Regiment under the command of 2/Lt. 
Jogindar Singh went to attack Pynbin. A platoon of 
the Japanese was also under the command of 2'Lt. 
Joginder Singh. After the first phase of the attack, 
the Japanese 2/Lt. commanding the platoon refused 
to advance any further. 2Lt. Joginder Singh slapped 
the Japanese 2/Lt. and forced him to advance further. 

Witnesses : 

Havaldar Ghulam Mohammad. 

Subedar Banta Singh. 

Captain Naidu. 
.Entry in Sahgal's diary dated 17th March. 

8. Japanese-Thias Clash. 

In July 1942, certain elements of Head Quarters 2 
Division I. N. A, and some units of No. 2 Inf. 
Regiment were in Chumpan (Siam) on their way to 
Burma. At about that time there was an armed clash 
between the Japanese and Thai armed units in Cham- 
pan area and both sides suffered heavy casualties. The 
Japanese Commander approached Lt. Col. Chopra* 
Senior I. N. A. officer in Chumpan, for help. Colonel 



NOMINAL ROLL OF DEFENCE WITNESSES 289 

Chopra told the Japanese Comd. that the I. N. A. 
was only fighting for the Independence of India and 
would on no account interfere in Japanese-Thai 
quarrel. The Japanese Commander insisted that as 
Allies the I. N. A. units were bound to come 
the aid of the Japanese units who were outnumbered 
by the Thais. Thereupon Colonel Chopra went to 
Bangkok to consult Lt. Colonel S. M. Hussain, a Senior 
Officer of the Division, who was on his way to 
Rangoon. Lt.-Colonel Hussain and Colonel Allagao* 
pan, who also happened to be in Bangkok, told Chopra 
that the I. N. A. was only fighting for the freedom of 
India and it would not fight against the Thais, on any 
account. These officers ordered Chopra to convey 
their 'decision to the Japanese Commander and assured 
him that they would assume full responsibility for the 
consequences. 

The I. N. A. units consequently did not render any 
help to the Japanese in their fight with the Thai units 
in Champan. 
Witnesses : 

Captain S. M. Hussain. 
9. B. D. A. Javanese Clash. 

In March 1945, the B. D. A. rebelled against the 
Japanese and [started attacking their convoys and 
dumps, etc. The Japanese approached Lt.-Colonel 
S. M. Hussain, No. 1 Inf. Regiment, I. N. A., in Magwe 
to help them to fight the B. D. A. troops. The Indian 
civilians were also worried by the B. D. A. and were 
frightened that they may once again be subjected to 



360 L N. A. HEROES 

the same brutal treatment which was meted out 
to them in 1943. Lt.-Col. Hussain informed the Jap- 
anese that the I. N, A. would not fight against 
the B. D. A. unless the B. D. A. attacked any I. N. A. 
units or any Indian civilians in that area. Hussain 
conveyd this massage to the B. D. A. units also. 
Witnesses : 

Captain S. M. Hussain. 

10. Kyaulaga Incident. 
Included in the evidence of Captain A. D. Jehan- 



m 

G. S. DHILLON 

We were with the Japanese because they were in 
a position that we could take some help from them in 
order to attack our old enemy the British. Our 
policy was to make usa of 'any old stick to kill a 

snake.' 

i 

Here are some instances to prove that I carried 
out my dealings with them according to our move- 
ment's policy : 

I. Just after the I. N. A. crises in Fabruary 1943, 
in a public rally held in connection with Mahatma 
Gandhiji's fast, I made a statement something as this, 
"Our strength lies in having complete faith in our- 
selves, and in having courage enough to attack the 
Japanese in case they betray us". During this rally 
there were present Japanese officers of Hikan Kikan, 
M. P. and Press Mr. Rash Bahari Bose was in the chair 
and it was a gathering of several thousands. 
Can be proved by : 

1. Captain Jaswant Singh, 4-19 Hyd. A 

Major of I. N. A. 
~2. Maj. Aziz Ahmad, Kapurthala Inf. A 

Major General of I. N. A. 
3. Captain A. D. Jehangir, Bahawalpur 
Infantry. A Colonel of I. N* A. 

261 



262 i. N. A. HEROES 

II. In March 1943, during my tour upcountry, I 
made statements ssmilar to the one referred above in 
para. I. These statements I made wherever I ad- 
dessad surplus volunteers. During this tour I also ad- 
dressed a public rally in Penang and had made this- 
very statement. 

Can be proved by : 

1. Lt. Colonel Alagapan. I. M. S. A Major 
Gen. in I. N. A. 

2. Prosecuting 

7-8 Punjab. Paras 50-52 in the sum- 
mary of evidence. 

3. H. V. Major Kartar Singh, 26-lst 
Punjab Regiment. Captain in I. N. A. 
1/4 General Regiment. 

III. In December 1944, during my command of 
Nehru Brigade, a Japanese Colonel occupied a certain 
building in my area at Myingyan. The Colonel had 
taken permission from my Jap Liaison Officer 
Captain Izuni of Hikari Kikan, but Capt. Iznni. 
failed to isk me or any of my Staff Officers. I 
called him in my office and told him to get the build- 
ing vacated at once. He felt sorry for the mistake 
but said that he was helpless to take any action be- 
cause the Colonel was a very senior otficer and Regi- 
mental Commander. To this, I replied, "Captain 
Izuni, for your information I am not a Major only. I 
am also a Regiment Commander an appointmet of a: 
Colonel. Again I mm the Station Commander and the 
senior most Indian National Army Officer in the area. 



NOMINAL ROLL OF DEFENCE WITNESSES 263 

I cannot image a Regimental Commander or any officer, 
does not matter how senior, entering my area and 
occupying a building under my charge without action 
on my part. I take it as an insult not only personal 
but national. I warn you to get the building vacated 
at once otherwise I will not hesitate to use force, 
colonel or no colonel. Now I do not want to hear 
any excuses. You may please go/' 

The result was that in the evening the colonel 
acompanied by his adjutant the Japanese Garri- 
son Commander, a Major and Capt. Izuni called on 
me and apologised. After this they never occupied 
any building within my area. Actually the 
local Burmese officials came to know of the 
fact and asked me to occupy certain of their buildings 
so that the Japanese might keep away. 

Can be proved by : 

1. Hav. Darwan Singh Rawat, 2/18 Garhwal, 
was Captain in I. N. A., Adjutant Nehru 
Brigade. 

2. Mohindar Singh,, 18th Garhwal. Was a Lieut, 
in the I. N. A. Intelligence Officer Nehru 
Brigade. 

IV. On my resuming command of the Nehru 
Brigade at Myingan, I found that the Japanese Garri- 
son Commander, a representative of their operational 
H. Qrs., namely, Major Ogawa, would give orders deal- 
ing with Myingyan Defences direct to my Dn. Com- 
manders. One day during the presence of certain 
staff officers and Battalion Commanders, I strongly 



264 I. N.A. HEROES 

objected to this practice and explained him the 
I. N. A. policy. Our talk grew to a heated discussion 
just short of a quarrel. I asked him to let me 
have the full scheme of defence, and I would make 
my own plan in consideration with my strength, 
armament and tactical training. Again, it was my 
command and not his, and I would not stand any 
direct dealings with my subordinates by him on a 
matter of principle. In the end he apologised and 
told me that he was doing so only to save more 
time and trouble and that he would not do so. 
again. Regarding telling me the full scheme he 
said that he was not in a position to do so as 
the Army Head Quarters were informing him bit 
by bit. 1 reported this irregularity to Col. Arshad T 
Officiating Divisional Commander No. 1 Div M who 
took up the case with the higher authorities and after 
an interval of some days the full scheme was reveal* 
ed to me. 

Can be proved by : 

L Captain Chandar Bhan, 4-19 Hyd. A Maj, 
in the I. N. A. O. C. 2/14th Grla. Regiment. 

2. Mohindar Singh, 18th Garhwal. A Lieut, in 

the I. N. A. Head Quarters Nehru Brigade. 

3. Hav. Darwan Singh Rawat, 2/18th Garwhai. 
Capt. in the I. N. A. Adjutant Nehru Brigade. 

4. Capt. Arshad, 5/2nd Punjab. Colonel in 

I. N. A. 



NOMINAL ROLL OF DEFENCE WITNESSES 2(6 

V. On 19th March 1945 while in action at Kweb- 
yok, thj Jap Commander of Hosokawa Butri was led 
to attain a certain position for which I had also made 
preparations and had detailed No. 1. Dn. Towards 
the evening the Japanese asked me to give them 
only one platoon. They said that the platoon would 
be used as guides, and they (the Japanese) would 
carry out the main attack. I told them that I 
had taken their message as an insult and though 
my men were ready yet I was not prepared to 
risk their lives in a role where the Japanese 
wanted to play the main part. In the end they 
asked even for only two men which I also refused. I 
did this because it was against the declared policy and 
prestige of the I. N. A. to allow itself to be used 
for the benefit of the Japanese by playing a secondary 
role. 

At about mid-night the Hosokawa Butri Com- 
mander called on me to explain that all his plans for 
that night were being upset due to my non-co-oper- 
ation. I explained my point of view, he apologised. 
After this incident he never dared to play a selfish 
trick. 

Can be proved by : 

1. Hav. Darwan Singh 

Adjutant Nehru Bde. 

2. Jem. Mbhd. 

in the I. N. A. . 

3. Mohindar Singh, 18 Gmwd. IJeugpm the 
I. N, A. My Intelligence 




266 1. N. A. HEROES 

4. Havaldar Major Kartar Singh, 6/1 Punjab, 
VI. On resuming command of my Regiment* I 

iisued following instructions and orders to all units 

undet my command :" 

1. No Officer or a man will have any direct deal- 
ing with Hikari Kikan or any of the Japanese 
officers. In case they are being approached by 
the Japanese their Head Quarters will be 
immediately informed. 

Can be proved*, by : 

Same witnesses as in V above. 



A Book of Political Documents 

Famous Letters and Ultimatums 
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The Amrita Bazar Patrika writes in its issue of 
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It is a collection of historic letters written from 
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