Early Life of Raja Habib ur Rahman Khan
Raja Habib ur Rahman Khan was born in the year 1913 in a renowned Chib Rajput family in Panjeri village, Bhimber District in Azad Kashmir. Raja Manzoor Ahmad Khan was his father. Sardar Raja Rahamdad Khan, his maternal grand father was the Wazir in the court of Maharaja Pratap Singh, who was the Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir. During his initial years, Khan was educated at a Government primary school in Panjeri. After he passed the fourth standard, he got admitted to various schools and later he completed his graduation from Jammu. Habib ur Rahman Khan was a member of the Boy Scout Association. He had learned various languages including Hindi, Persian, Punjabi, Urdu and English. After the completion of his graduation, he joined the Prince of Wales Royal Indian Military College in Dehradun.
Military Career of Raja Habib ur Rahman Khan
After completing his training from Dehradun, Raja Habib ur Rahman Khan was commissioned as an officer in the British Indian Army. In the year 1933, he joined 5th Battalion, formed by re-designation of 40th Pathans, the 5/14th Punjab Regiment on May 29, 1933. Khan was posted to 1st Battalion of the 14th Punjab Regiment, which was known as Sher Dil Paltan. His Battalion moved to Secunderabad from Lahore in September 1940.
After the attack on Pearl Harbor and the Singapore bombing on 7 December 1941, the United States announced war on Japan. The 1/14th Punjab Regiment fought an inclined battle at Changlun in the Thai frontier on December 11, 1941. Raja Habib ur Rahman Khan, who was Battalion Signal Officer, along with his Commanding Officer Colonel Fitzpatrick remained close to the front line. The Battle of Changlun was lost and the he 1/14th Punjab Regiment was not renewed after the battle.
Raja Habib ur Rahman Khan in Indian National Army
After receiving support from Japanese Major Fujiwara, General Mohan Singh, a renowned Indian freedom fighter, started to contact various Indian members in the British Indian Army in South East Asia and began to recruit from among the Indians who were captured by the Japanese forces in Malaya. He took charge of all the Indian prisoners of war. This eventually led to the formation of the Indian National Army (INA). Mohan Singh requested the Indians to volunteer for the purpose of forming the Azad Hind Fauj or the Free India Army to fight against the British Government of India and to free the nation. Raja Habib ur Rahman Khan was a close associate of Mohan Singh and on 17th February 1942, Khan became a member of the First Indian National Army. He undertook several missions as an officer of the Indian National Army (INA). While he was at the Changi Camp, Rahman Khan became severely ill and was and sent to Seletar Camp. There he was admitted to POW Hospital.
After his heath improved at Seletar Camp, Khan, along with other along Indian Prisoners of war, attended the Bidadari conference on 24 April 1942, at Bidadari Camp, Singapore, summoned by Captain Mohan Singh. On 29 December 1942, General Mohan Singh was arrested by the Japanese forces. Raja Habib ur Rahman Khan decided to be a part of the Indian National Army, on the suggestion of Rash Behari Bose. After the revival of the Azad Hind Fauj or Indian National Army (INA) under the leadership of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, Khan was appointed as Deputy Quartermaster General (DQMG) in the Q Branch at the Directorate of Military Bureau (DMB) Headquarters. He was in charge of the Technical Branch and was also responsible for the accommodation as well. Later in December 1943, Raja Habib Ur Rahman Khan was appointed as Second-in-Command and raised the 5th Guerrilla regiment at Bidadari, Singapore. He was also responsible for the training, welfare, discipline and morale of the troops.
He was sent to the front at Alor Star in Infantry Regiment at Jitra. Raja Habib Ur Rahman Khan officiated as the Deputy quartermaster General (DGMG) and also the Deputy Adjutant General (DAG), as well as the Commandant of the officer training school of the Azad Hind Fauj or Indian National Army (INA) during the first anniversary of the Arzi Hukumat E Azad Hind or the Provisional Government of Azad Hind. With the alleged death of Subhas Chandra Bose on August 18, 1945, the Indian National Army (INA) was considered to be disestablished, along with the end of the entire Azad Hind Movement.
In the year 1945, he was arrested by the British forces. After the end of the war, along with Colonel Gurbaksh Singh Dhillon, Colonel Prem Kumar Sahgal and General Shah Nawaz Khan, Raja Habib ur Rahman Khan was put on trial at Red Fort in Delhi for waging war against the British Emperor on November 5, 1945. The prisoners potentially faced the death penalty, life imprisonment or a fine as punishment if found guilty. Jawaharlal Nehru, Bhulabhai Desai, Kailash Nath Katju, Sir Tej Bahadur Sapru, Asaf Ali and others defended them and demanded that the soldiers of the Provisional Government of Free India should be treated as prisoners of war.
Personal Life of Raja Habib Ur Rahman Khan
Colonel Raja Habib Ur Rahman Khan was married with Badshah Begum, who was daughter of his uncle Raja Muhammad Sarwar Khan. The couple had a daughter and a son. Raja Habib Ur Rahman Khan died in the year 1978 and was buried in his ancestral village in Panjeri, Bhimber in Azad Kashmir on 26 December 1978.
Awards of Raja Habib Ur Rahman Khan
Raja Habib ur Rahman Khan was honoured several times for his Raja Habib ur Rahman Khan by the Azad Jammu and Kashmir Government. These are mentioned below-
* Fateh E Bhimber (Liberator of Bhimber).
* Fakhr E Kashmir
* Ghazi E Kashmir
(Last Updated on : 20-07-2012)
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