HC Deb 16 July 1923 vol 166 cc1841-2

asked the Under-Secretary of State for India how many Moplah prisoners are now detained in the Andaman Islands; whether they are accommodated in the convict barracks in the penal settlement or on another island; whether there is any proposal that these prisoners should settle permanently in the Andaman Islands; and whether any, and, if so, how many, Moplah women and children have been transported there for settlement?

The UNDER-SECRETARY of STATE for INDIA (Earl Winterton)

In accordance with my promise to the hon. Member, the Government of India were asked at the end of April by cable to send papers, showing in full the arrangements made. Those papers have not yet been received, and a further request has been telegraphed. In it specific mention has been made of the points raised in the present question. The Government of India have informed the Secretary of State that no special arrangements are made to segregate Moplahs from association with other convicts. They are treated similarly to others, except that the initial period of cellular confinement is frequently shortened.


Is there any intention of making a settlement for these prisoners on the Andaman Islands?


I am asking for fuller information. I understand the intention of the Government of India is at as early a date as possible to close down the whole settlement, but it is not possible to do so at the moment owing to lack of accommodation elsewhere.


Will the Government not reconsider the question of closing the Andaman Islands settlement, as it might at times be useful?

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