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Ethnic violence (warning: age appropriate content)

As the geographical boundaries were drawn to divide newly formed India and Pakistan, ethnic violence began to develop. The border was drawn along religious lines whereby districts with Muslim majority populations were placed in Pakistan and Hindu majority districts were placed in India. However, bitterly disappointed groups who found themselves living on the ‘wrong’ side of the border would fight to alter the percentages of religious groups in their district by engaging in ethnic killings. Seeking to drive out the other religious groups and strengthen their own religious groups’ claim to the land, killers attempted to shape the new border. Religiously motivated honour killings were also committed.

Map "Prevailing Religions of the British Indian Empire, 1909: Hindus"


Map "Prevailing Religions of the British Indian Empire, 1909: Muslims"

Map "Prevailing Religions of the British Indian Empire, 1909: Muslims"

Families sought to kill female relatives to protect them from being victims of crime undertaken by males of the other community. This religious violence was stoked by the publication of pamphlets, produced by Muslims and Hindus. These detailed photographs of destroyed religious buildings and orphans, seeking to polarise communities.


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It is believed that during partition, between 500,000 and up to two million people were killed