§ 1. Major GRAHAM POLE
asked the Secretary of State for India whether he will state what was the loss to life and property in the riots which occurred at Chittagong, in the first week of September; what was the size of the police and armed and other protective forces in the town at the time; and whether he will inform the House of the special action which was taken by the local authorities to stop the development of the riots, and of what steps have been taken to fix the responsibility for the outbreak and spread of the disturbance?
§ The SECRETARY of STATE for INDIA (Sir Samuel Hoare)
The reports so far received by me do not indicate that there was any loss of life in the disturbances which followed the murder of Inspector Ashanullah. An official estimate of the damage to property has been called for but has not yet been supplied to me. I am unable to state the strength of the civil police but in addition to these the local authorities had at their disposal a, detachment of 200 Assam Rifles and a number of European special constables. As regards the last part of the question a Curfew Order was imposed and an order under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code was issued prohibiting the carrying of lathis or other weapons. In addition a peace committee of leading Hindus and Muhammadans was formed. The Commissioner of the Chittagong Division has been appointed by the Government of Bengal to hold an inquiry of which I am circulating the terms of reference. The Inspector-General of Police will be associated with the Commissioner whenever necessary.
Following are the terms of reference:To report on all events subsequent to the murder of Inspector Ashanullah and mare especially on: 780
- (a) the looting and other damage done to private property in Chittagong and elsewhere, and
- (b) the conduct of the police and other Government servants in connection with the events in Chittagong and the Mofussil."