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Khaksar Tragedy (1940)

The British Government in the Punjab decided to ban all the paramilitary organizations in the Punjab and stopped them from parading in public and also from wearing military uniform. Khaksars refused to obey the directives and decided to hold their military parade in the area of Bhati Gate, Lahore on March 19. When police tried to disperse the rebels, they resisted and clashed with the police. This resulted in the killing of around 50 Khaksars and many other were injured. The atmosphere of Lahore became tense. Sir Sikandar Hayat, a Unionist leader and the then Chief Minister of the Punjab, tried to persuade Quaid-i-Azam to postpone the Lahore session of the Muslim League but failed to convince the latter. Quaid-i-Azam, when he reached Lahore on March 21, went straight from the railway station to Mayo Hospital to enquire about the health of the wounded Khaksars. By doing so Quaid-i-Azam handled the controversial issue well and without annoying the Khaksars managed to hold the Muslim League session on the planned dates and time. The Punjab Police Intelligence had also appreciated Jinnah’s tactics and farsightedness.

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