Though termed a ‘Police Action’, the Army played a stellar role in quelling internal strife in the State and restoring law and order. As briefly mentioned earlier, Hyderabad had also signed a ‘Standstill Agreement’ for one year at the time of India’s Independence, attempting to decide on exercising its option of merging with the Indian Union. As time had already run out and the local rebel forces known as ‘Razakars’ resorted to large scale violence and looting, a short, 100-hour engagement was forced on the Indian Army in September 1948, which at that time was heavily engaged in operations in Kashmir.
1 Armoured Division, commanded by Major General JN Chaudhuri (who later rose to become India’s Army Chief), was one of the few formations available apart from some infantry units which were attached to the division. This force soon entered the State from different cardinal directions and, under the banner of ‘Operation Polo’, settled matters amicably using minimal force. Once the rebel troops were rounded up and handed over to the police, Hyderabad became an integral part of India.