HC Deb 18 April 1932 vol 264 cc1223-4

asked the Secretary of State for India if he will give the House the latest information he has as to the political situation in India?


asked the Secretary of State for India whether he can make a statement in regard to the political situation in India?

The SECRETARY of STATE for INDIA (Sir Samuel Hoare)

I am circulating a statement covering the events of the past week.

Following is the statement:

During the past week notable features were the recrudescence of Red Shirt activities in part of the Peshawar district and the celebration of National Week. At present the revival of the Red Shirt agitation is confined to that part of the Peshawar district north of the Kabul river, where, in the sub-divisions of Mardan and Charsadda, determined efforts to interfere with the elections by large crowds had considerable success. The situation in several districts necessitated reinforcement of the police by troops in dispersing the crowds, which were armed with lathis and which resorted freely to stone-throwing. In the area south-east of Mardan the police were compelled to fire. Here the police casualties were 12 injured, two seriously, while the casualties amongst the rioters were, as far as can be ascertained, one killed. On the conclusion of the poll the situation quieted.

National Week was celebrated from the 6th to 13th April, Congress making special efforts to rouse public interest. The results were singularly small. There were serious disorders at Allahabad where a procession on the 9th April resulted in a renewal of the disturbances mentioned last week. Owing to continued stone and brick throwing resort was had to fire, 30 rounds being discharged. Casualties were two killed and about 20 injured. The situation was, however, brought under control within two or three days. There was also activity at Cawnpore, but the position there has now been much improved by the introduction of an additional force of armed police into the cloth market area. Apart from slight hooliganism on the 13th April the week in Bombay City proved an almost complete failure. Picketing there has been on a reduced scale. Elsewhere throughout India the effects of National Week were negligible. Several provinces report that it passed almost unnoticed.

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