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An Interview, Docuseries & an Aussie Joining Dots: How a 92-year-old Jalandhar Man Reunited with Nephew Lost in Partition

By: News Desk

News18.com

Last Updated: August 08, 2022, 09:12 IST

Jalandhar, India

A view of Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan. (Photo: PTI)

A view of Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan. (Photo: PTI)

Sarwan Singh will meet his elder brother’s son, who now lives in Pakistan, at the last resting place of Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism

Sarwan Singh, a 92-year-old resident of Jalandhar is all set to meet his nephew, who was separated from his family during the bloody riots of 1947 as a six-year-old. In the violence that was unleashed in their village, Chak 37 in Pakistan, 22 members of Singh’s family were killed.

While the rioters killed the men, and women of the house jumped into a well with their children to save their honour, the little boy – named Mohan Singh – managed to escape.

Cut to 75 years later, Mohan, who was raised by a Muslim family in Pakistan, is set to meet his family members who managed to successfully cross to India at Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur, a week before Independence Day, a Hindustan Times report said.

Sarwan Singh, accompanied by his daughter Rachhpal Kaur, will meet his elder brother’s son at the last resting place of Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism.

“Our family members, who survived the riots, looked for Mohan after the violence, but could not find him,” Rachhpal told Hindustan Times. Sarwan Singh’s parents, two brothers and two sisters were killed during the riots

Here’s how Sarwan and Mohan Singh found each other:

Sarwan Singh’s family did not know the whereabouts of Mohan until a Punjab-origin Australian Gurdev Singh helped the two after separately coming across the Partition accounts of India-based Sarwan Singh and Pakistan-based Mohan Singh.

In a Youtube docuseries named, ‘The Other Side of Freedom’ made by Sikh author Sukhdeep Singh Barnala, one episode was on Sarwan Singh family.

“Gurdev Singh watched this episode of the documentary, in which Sarwan Singh mentioned the identifying marks of the missing child. He revealed that Mohan had two thumbs and a black spot on one of his thighs,” author Barnala told Hindustan Times.

Barnala said the man (Gurdev) had also seen the interview of one Pakistan-based man, who had revealed similar things about himself, and managed to get the contact numbers of both the families and got them together over phone. “They will meet each other for the first time at Kartarpur Sahib,” said the author.

Mohan, who is now Afzal Khalak, and Sarwan Singh’s are in contact after coming to know of each other. “We often speak to our cousin over video call. He told us that he was raised by a Muslim family and now his name is Afzal Khalak. Now, he has a family of his own with six sons,” Sarwan’s daughter Kaur said.

Kaur added that Mohan’s sister, who was four at that time, also survived the carnage and came to India with their family in 1947. “She is settled in Canada and will soon be flying to Pakistan to meet her brother.”

Pakistan-based journalist Nasir Dhillon, who has united many families that were separated by the Partition, was quoted by Hindustan Times as saying that around 100 families had come together at Kartarpur since the corridor was opened in 2019.

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first published:August 08, 2022, 08:53 IST
last updated:August 08, 2022, 09:12 IST