HC Deb 26 July 1897 vol 51 cc1090-1

asked the Secretary of State for India whether his attention had been called to a paragraph in The Daily News. of Thursday last embodying a statement from the Secretary of the Indian Association to the following effect,— Two gross cases are reported of attempted outrage on Hindu girls in the Khana plague inspection camp by two European officers who have been suspended by the Government. Pandita Ramabai writes to a. newspaper of the seduction of one of her girls in the Poona, plague camp, utterly demoralising the arrangements there. These cases have vented a great sensation all over the country"; and whether there was any truth in either allegation?


The allegations alluded to consisted of two charges one in connection with a segregation camp at Khana, in Bengal, for the detention of railway passengers, and the other in connection with the late plague camp in Poona. I have received the following reports upon them,— Lieutenant-Governor of Bengal reports that police sergeant and military assistant surgeon were charged with making immoral overtures to two Hindu circus girls a ml a Japanese prostitute in segregation huts at Khana plague inspection camp. Japanese consented, and left with police officer; circus girls declined, and, on assistant surgeon pressing, one of them raised alarm. Police officer dismissed; assistant surgeon suspended. His case being further investigated. Both are of European parentage; police sergeant horn and domiciled in India. As regards the second case, the Governor of Bombay telegraphs,— Pandita Ramabai's assertions had attracted my notice, and I inquired into them early in June. The girl she mentions was not seduced in the plague camp. She was a plague patient, and was discharged cured. What became of her afterwards is not known. The assertion about utterly demoralising the arrangements in Poona camp absolutely untrue. From first to last somewhere about 500 female patients were admitted; nearly all had relatives or friends attending them; no complaints of violated modesty were ever made. Officer in charge saw Pandita Ramabai herself on several occasions in the hospital, but she never made any complaint to him.