1846: Kashmir Signed Away to Gulab Singh via Treaty of Amritsar

The Valley of Kashmir was sold to Gulab Singh along with its people, mountains and lakes for a sum of 75 lakh Nanak Shahi rupees.  The British and Gulab Singh even signed the infamous Treaty of Amritsar. Contrary to common belief, the Kashmiris, under the dynamic leadership of Imam-ud-Din, the last Governor of Sikh rule, fought Gulab Singh’s army and defeated it in a fierce battle near Sheikh Bagh. For several, Kashmiri forces frustrated Gulab Singh’s tactics, but finally Imam-ud-Din had to give in following British intervention. The people who were killed during the resistance were laid to rest at Shaheed Gunj. Unfortunately, there is no trace of the graveyard today.

It is believed that Gulab Singh was highly enraged by the fight put up by Kashmiris, and when he assumed power, he held a naked sword in his hand. Some people say that he waved it and said that that would now decide the fate of Kashmiris. What followed reflects his ruthlessness.

The state of Jammu and Kashmir was also created on this day, and Dogra rule lasted a century.

The people of Kashmir were persecuted, humiliated and subjected to inhuman treatment. Heavy taxes were levied as well. In 1931, the masses rose against Dogra rule and demanded responsible government.