§ Major POLE
asked the Secretary of State for India whether he can make a statement as to the present position in India?
§ Mr. BENN
The Government of India have issued the following appreciation of the situation up to 17th January:
North-West Frontier.—In the Tribal area there is nothing to report, picketing, however, continues in Peshawar City and a number of arrests have also been made in Mardan and Charsadda.
Internal India.—Reports received during the week relate to local incidents only, and do not appreciably affect the general situation as reviewed in last week's appreciation. There has been some trouble in Bombay City and two or three other places in the Bombay Presidency arising out of demonstrations in connection with the execution of four persons who had been found guilty of the murder of two policemen during the riots at Sholapur in May last. The execution took place on the 12th, and on that day a hartal was held in Bombay which was accompanied by acts of hooliganism necessitating the dispersal of unruly crowds. Minor disturbances occurred in Poona and Belgaum, but there was no disorder at Sholapur itself. Further demonstrations in Bombay were organised on a large scale by the Congress organisation for the 16th. Elaborate precautions were taken by the police and the information received up-to-date indicates that they were successful in perventing serious disorder. The High Court and other law courts were picketed, and most of the mills were closed. Small parties had to be dispersed in various places. A shocking tragedy occurred at Lahore, in which the wife of a European officer was most brutally murdered and their two children seriously injured. Investigation into the motives and previous history of the accused is proceeding. Further incidents of violence have occurred in Bihar and Orissa, and the Deputy Commissioner of Manbhum District reports a serious riot, 38W in which the sub-divisional Magistrate and the police were assaulted and the police had to open fire. Four rioters were killed and persons on both sides were injured.
Reports from Burma show that open rebellion continues in the Tharrawaddy District, but there has been no serious extension of the disorder to other districts, although the danger of this has not yet passed.
Interest in the Round Table Conference has increased as the proceedings approach conclusion, and the announcement of policy by His Majesty's Government is eagerly awaited in all political circles.