§ MR. S. SMITH (Flintshire)
I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for India whether the Secretary of State is aware that among the public of Bombay serious alarm exists on account of the attitude and proceedings of the local police in connection with the case known as the Rajabai Tower Tragedy; whether he is aware that, in that case, the medical men who first viewed the corpses of the two Parsi girls, on the afternoon of the 25th of April, certified that there were on their persons certain marks indicating attempted outrage, but nevertheless, before the post-mortem examination was held, the police adopted, and throughout the inquiry maintained, the theory of accident, or suicide; that the man Aslajee, who was arrested the same evening on suspicion, was found to have his jacket torn and his trousers soiled, but that, nevertheless, he was released the same night, at 3 a.m., without even his person being examined or his clothes 755 detained; and that for 56 hours the police failed to follow up an important clue furnished to them in person by one of Her Majesty's Justices of the Peace; whether these, and other allegations, tending to show bias and neglect of duty on the part of the police, were set forth in a Memorial to the Bombay Government, signed by Sir Jamsetjee Jeheebhoy, Sir Duishah Petit, and some 45,000 inhabitants of Bombay, and praying that a complete investigation by independent and competent officers should be made into the facts of the case; whether the Secretary of State is aware that the said prayer was disregarded by the Bombay Government; that the man Aslajee was committed for trial upon incomplete evidence; and that he was acquitted; and whether the Secretary of State will order an independent investigation into this case with a view to allay the public alarm, and to clear the good name of the local police administration?
§ THE UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE FOR INDIA (Sir J. GORST,) Chatham
The Secretary of State has no official information as to the facts stated in the question. The Petition to the Bombay Government signed by Sir Jamsetjee Jeheebhoy and others seems to have been presented while the proceedings against the accused man were going on. The Bombay Government very properly refused to interfere with the course of justice, but reserved the consideration of the necessity for further inquiry until the trial was concluded. The whole matter has received, and is receiving, the fullest attention of the Government of Bombay, and the Secretary of State sees no reason for interference.