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Indian History

U.K. Verdict on Nizam of Hyderabad

  • 03 Oct 2019
  • 4 min read

Recently, the High Court of England and Wales ruled in favour of India and the last Nizam of Hyderabad-Osman Ali Khan’s descendants granting them access to a £35 million fund.

  • The court rejected Pakistan’s claim in the case (that dates back to 1948), over funds belonging to the Nizam of Hyderabad deposited in a London bank account.

Background

  • The case relates to the transfer of an amount that now worths around £35 million (approximately ₹306 crore) by the Nizam’s envoy and foreign minister (in London) to the account of the High Commissioner of Pakistan on September 16, 1948, which the bank processed on September 20, 1948.
    • Hyderabad’s armed forces had already surrendered to the Indian Army on September 17, 1948, after a military operation known as “Operation Polo.”
    • Within days of surrender, the last Nizam of the princely state of Hyderabad-Osman Ali Khan (who died in 1967), sent a message to the National Westminster Bank demanding that money back into his account. But, Pakistan also claimed the money.
  • Hence, the present case was instituted by Pakistan in 2013 against the bank to transfer the money to Pakistan.

Integration of Princely State of Hyderabad into India

  • Hyderabad was one of the largest native/princely states in India. It was ruled by the Nizams who accepted the paramountcy of the British sovereign.
  • The Nizam of Hyderabad like the Nawab of Junagadh and the ruler of Kashmir did not accede to India before the date of independence, i.e, 15th August 1947.
  • He was encouraged by Pakistan and Muslim natives peoples, to stay as an independent power and improve his armed forces to resist the integration.
  • During this military improvisation, internal chaos emerged in the state of Hyderabad because of which, on 13th September 1948, the Indian Army was sent into Hyderabad under Operation Polo (military operation to annex Hyderabad into the Union of India), on the grounds that the law and order situation in Hyderabad threatened the peace of South India.
    • The troops met little resistance by the Razakars (the private militia who were resisting the integration), and between the 13th and 18th September, the military took complete control of the state.
    • The operation led to massive communal violence with estimates of deaths ranging from the official one of 27,000 to 40,000 to scholarly ones of 200,000 or more.
  • After the integration, the Nizam was retained as the head of state in the same manner as the other princes who acceded to India. He thereupon, disowned the complaints that had been made to the UN and, despite vehement protests from Pakistan and strong criticism from other countries, the UN Security Council did not deal further with the question, and Hyderabad was absorbed into India.

Source: TH

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