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 Junagadh History

Pakistan agreed to discuss a plebiscite, subject to the withdrawal of Indian troops, a condition India rejected. On 26 October, the Nawab and his family fled to Pakistan following clashes with Indian troops. Before leaving, the Nawab had emptied the state treasury of its cash and securities.


On 7 November, Junagadh's court, facing collapse, invited the Government of India to take over the State's administration. The Dewan of Junagadh, Sir Shah Nawaz Bhutto, the father of the more famous Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, decided to invite the Government of India to intervene.

Bhutto wrote a letter to Mr. Buch, the Regional Commissioner of Saurashtra in the Government of India:


 

 Letter Inviting India to Intervene

 
Dear Mr. Buch,

After discussion with Mr. Samaldas Gandhi at Rajkot on 1 October, Capt. Harvey Jones, senior member of Junagadh State Council, brought certain proposals for the consideration of the Council. The Council were prepared to accept them under protest but before a final decision could be communicated to Mr. Samaldas Gandhi it was thought necessary to ascertain the opinion of the leading members of the public. A meeting was therefore held this evening and the view of the leaders was unanimously expressed that instead of handing over the administration to the Indian Union through the so-called Provisional Government, it should be directly given over to the Indian Union, through the Regional Commissioner at Rajkot.

The Junagadh Government, therefore, has requested that in order to avoid bloodshed, hardship, loss of life and property and to preserve the dynasty, you should be approached to give your assistance to the administration particularly with a view to preserve law and order, which is threatened by aggressive elements from outside. This arrangement is sought pending an honourable settlement of the several issues involved in Junagadh's accession. We have already wired to His Excellency Lord Mountbatten, Mahatmaji, Prime and Deputy Prime Ministers of India, Hon'ble Abul Kalarn Azad and the Governor-General and Prime Minister of Pakistan.

I hope you will kindly respond to this request.

Yours sincerely,
Sd/S.N. Bhutto,
Dewan, Junagadh.
 
The Government of Pakistan protested, saying that since the Nawab had chosen to accede to Pakistan, the Dewan had no authority to negotiate a settlement with India. Also, if India could acquire Kashmir (with an overwhelming Muslim majority) because its ruler had decided to accede to India, then Pakistan could claim Junagadh.


 
The government of India rejected the protests of Pakistan and accepted the invitation of the Dewan to intervene.A plebiscite was conducted in February 1948, which went almost unanimously in favour of accession to India.Junagadh became a part of the Indian state of Saurashtra until 1 November 1956, when Saurashtra became part of Bombay state. In 1960, Bombay state was split into the linguistic states ofMaharashtra and Gujarat, in which Junagadh was located.