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 Junagadh History

The East India Company took control of the state in 1818, but the Saurashtra area never came under the direct administration of British India.



Instead, the British divided the territory into more than one hundred princely states, which remained in existence until 1947. The present old town, developed

 

 Accession of Junagadh to India

During the period spanning the independence and partition of India and Pakistan in 1947, the 562 princely states that had existed outsideBritish India under British suzerainty were given a choice of acceding to either India or Pakistan or remaining outside them.


 
Although the states were theoretically free to choose, Mountbatten stated that "geographic compulsions" meant that most of them would choose India. Mountbatten took the position that only states that shared a common border with Pakistan should choose to accede to it, but he had no power to impose this point of view on the states.


 
On September 15, 1947, Nawab Mohammad Mahabat Khanji III of Junagadh, a princely state located on the south-western end of Gujarat and having no common border with Pakistan, chose to accede to Pakistan ignoring Mountbatten's views, arguing that Junagadh adjoined Pakistan by sea. The rulers of two states that were subject to the suzerainty of Junagadh Mangrol and Babariawad reacted by declaring their independence from Junagadh and acceding to India.


 
In response, the nawab of Junagadh militarily occupied the two states. Rulers of the other neighbouring states reacted angrily, sending troops to the Junagadh frontier, and appealed to the Government of India for assistance. A group of Junagadhi people, led by Samaldas Gandhi, formed a government-in-exile, the Aarzi Hukumat ("temporary government")


 
India believed that if Junagadh was permitted to accede to Pakistan, communal tension already simmering in Gujarat would worsen, and refused to accept the Nawab's choice of accession. The government pointed out that the state was 80% Hindu, and called for a plebiscite to decide the question of accession. India cut off supplies of fuel and coal to Junagadh, severed air and postal links, sent troops to the frontier, and occupied the principalities of Mangrol and Babariawad that had acceded to India.


 
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