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Junagadh District

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About the Junagadh district

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Brief About Junagadh District

Junagadh is a former princely state of British India. In the independence and partition of India and Pakistan in 1947, the 565 princely states were given a choice of whether to join India or Pakistan. The nawab of Junagadh (a Muslim) decided that Junagadh should become part of Pakistan, which was just across the Arabian Sea. The unsettled conditions in Junagadh had led to a cessation of all trade with India and the food position became precarious. The region was in crisis and the Nawab was forced to flee to Karachi with his family and established a provisional government. Before leaving the Nawab had emptied the state treasury of its cash and securities. The Dewan of Junagadh, Sir Shah Nawaz Bhutto, the father of the more famous Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, now 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: "Dear Mr. Buch, After discussion with Mr. Samaldas Gandhi at Rajkot on October 1, 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." A plebiscite was held on 20 February 1948, in which only 91 voters out of 190,870 who voted (and an electorate of 201,457) voted to join Pakistan. India has assumed control over the entire state of Junagadh. An Azad Fauj, or liberation army, of 20,000 men with armored cars and other modern weapons entered Junagadh and the state fell - the ruler had already left with his family for the safer pastures in Pakistan. Officially, the action was taken on the request of the Dewan of Junagadh, who feared disorder and chaos in the state. The Government of Pakistan protested, saying that since the accession of the state to Pakistan (September 5,1947), the Dewan had no authority to negotiate a settlement with India.Junagadh became a part of the Indian state of Saurashtra until November 1, 1956, when Saurashtra became part of Bombay state. Bombay state was split into the linguistic states of Gujarat and Maharashtra in 1960.

District Genaral Information
The district of Junagadh is located on the Kathiawar peninsula in western Gujarat, with the city of Junagadh as its administrative headquarters. The district is surrounded by Rajkot (North), Porbandar (North-West), Amreli(East) districts. To the South and West is the Arabian Sea. Porbandar, Gandhi's birthplace, was earlier a part of this district, before Porbandar district was carved out of Junagadh district.