§ Sir WILLIAM BYLES
asked the Under-Secretary of State for India whether the Lieutenant-Governor of Burmah has recently sanctioned the quartering of an increased force of military police in ten villages in the Sagaing district for a period of two years at a cost to the inhabitants of nearly 60,000 181 rupees; and, if so, whether he can state what offence has been committed by these villagers; and whether they have had an opportunity of answering the charge made against them before being punished?
§ The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for INDIA (Mr. Montagu)
The Lieutenant-Governor of Burmah has sanctioned the quartering for two years of an additional force of military police on forty-seven villages in the Sagaing, Shwabo, and Lower Chindwin districts, which were shown to have been concerned in an attack made last November by 800 men on the village of Myinma. The leaders of the insurgents are being prosecuted. The procedure is regulated by the Indian Police Act, which empowers a local Government to take this action when any area has been found to be in a disturbed or dangerous state, or when the conduct of the inhabitants or any class or section of them renders it expedient to increae the number of police. The local Government has power to exempt from liability to bear the cost of any inhabitants of such area.
§ Sir W. BYLES
Can I have access to the information as to what offence those people committed. Was sedition shown? Are not these people extremely poor, and do not these villages consist of very poor people and how can they pay 60,000 rupees?
§ Mr. MONTAGU
When the hon. Member gets a copy of this question he will see I deal with these points. From this district 800 men attacked another village.
§ Mr. MONTAGU
In accordance with practice, when a district has been disturbed and the inhabitants cannot keep the peace they have to bear the responsibility of their acts.