(1915 - 1996) (برھان الدین) of Chitral
was a veteran of the Indian National Army
, he died of a blunderbuss wound, possibly suicide in his own home. Prince Burhan-ud-Din was the illegitimate
son of Mehtar Shuja-ul-Mulk
, the Ruler of Chitral. He was by far the most famous Chitrali as a result of his service in the Indian National Army under Subhas Chandra Bose
during World War II
World War II
In 1944, he was one of three IOC's of the Indian National Army. The Indian National Army was formed from Indian soldiers who were fighting for the British
against the Japanese
. They were captured by the Japanese and taken to Singapore
. They were given a choice: Join the workers who were building the Death Railway
including The Bridge on the River Kwai
, or take up arms and fight against the British on the side of the Japanese. Prince Burhan-ud-Din became one of the commanders of the group who opted not to build the Bridge Over the River Kwai.
When Rangoon fell to the British on May 3, 1945, Prince Burhan-ud-Din was captured the same day and placed under arrest. He was charged with a wartime atrocity. Many men under his command had often left their posts to go into Rangoon in search of women, often not to return for several days. Prince Burhan-ud-Din, a deeply religious man, was offended by this practice, so he had five of his soldiers rounded up in Rangoon, brought back, and flogged as deserters. One of them, whose name was Joga Singh, died during the flogging. When the British captured the Indian National Army they were naturally anxious to put some of their leaders on trial. Prince Burhan-ud-Din was tried, convicted and sentenced to seven years in prison in 1946. Three other members of the Indian National Army were also convicted but they received lesser sentences.
In 1947 when Pakistan
got its independence from Britain
, Burhan-ud-Din and the others were let out of jail and he became a national hero. However, Prince Burhan-ud-Din was not universally popular in Chitral. When a riot broke out in Chitral in 1982, he was nearly killed by the rioters. Even the circumstances of his death in 1996 are controversial. There is no agreement whether the gunshot wound which killed him in 1996 was an accident, self-inflicted or if somebody shot him.
- "The Forgotten Army" by Peter Ward Fay, pages 454 to 498 : University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor, 1995 ISBN 0-472-08342-2