Historical Figures

101. Sardar Patel had a dispute with Jawaharlal Nehru over the Ajmer riots!

Communal riots broke out in Ajmer on 5 December 1947. The army had to be called from Delhi to stop these riots. General Rajendra Singh, Commanding Officer of Delhi Region, made a two-day visit to Ajmer. Pt. Nehru, President of Inter Dominion Minorities, N. R. By sending a telegram to Malkani informed that I am deeply sorry for the riots in Ajmer but the Dargah has been kept completely safe. Nehru also informed Malkani that he would soon visit Ajmer. Ghazanfar Ali Khan, Minister of Refugees and Rehabilitation of the Government of Pakistan telegramed Sardar Patel, the Home Minister of the Government of India, regarding the situation in Ajmer. On 17 December 1947, Sardar Patel sent him a telegram in response, informing him that the situation in Ajmer was under control and a military contingent was guarding the dargah.

Jawaharlal Nehru was very concerned over the Ajmer riots. Balkrishna Kaul and Mukut Bihari Lal informed Nehru about the situation in Ajmer. Nehru was not pleased with the attitude of the Ajmer authorities and the police. Nehru pointed out two important things in a letter to Sardar Patel.

The first point was that if this event was repeated on a large scale, it would have dire consequences. Secondly, Ajmer is famous all over India and all over the world because of the Dargah. If anything happens to the dargah, it will be publicized all over India and all over the world. This will hurt the image of the Government of India.

After receiving the letter from Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Patel issued a public statement on the Ajmer episode. Describing the number of deaths in Ajmer, he said that 5 Hindus and 1 Muslim have died in the riots since December 15, 1947. Also, 21 Hindus and 62 Muslims were injured in police firing. 8 Hindus and 7 Muslims have been killed and 2 Hindus and 2 Muslims have been injured in military firing. There has been terrible damage to property. Most of the damage was done to eight large Muslim shops located on Station Road and Imperial Road. Some other shops like stationery, bangles, potatoes, coal, books etc. have also been damaged.

A total of 41 shops have been looted and 16 shops have been burnt. Three of these shops have been completely destroyed. Intensive efforts have been made to save the property from destruction and to arrest the rioters. The dargah has been completely safe from this. Sardar Patel appealed to the religious people associated with the dargah to take full care of its security. He expressed hope on behalf of the government that soon peace will be established again in this historic city.