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THE CALCUTTA RIOTS., Issue 10450, 21 October 1897
THE CALCUTTA RIOTS.
At the end, of June a serious riot, took place in the Native quarter of Calcutta, arising out of police action Itv enforcing a decree of ft. court of law. A. Mahomedan tenant, it appears, refused to'pay rent to his Hindoo landlord, and the latter 1 obtained an j order of the Court, to remove the tenant by destroying the building he occupied, amere hut.\ It is stated to bs a growing practice of the ' Mahomedans to declare even mean buildings to be mosques, and as such \o claim that they are sacred. and rent not demandable "for them. On.Tuesday, 29vh June, a mud hut at Entalla, which no respectable Mahomedan would claim to be a mosque, was demolished under police protection, in the presence of,a threatening crowd. . The same night 150 workmen, protected, by some 2,000 Ma--homedans, began to rapidly robuild the hut. They were ordered to desist, but refused. All the available European .and Native police were then mobilised. At first persuasion "was tried, but'it proved, useless. The police were accordingly" ordered to disperse the assombly, but the people showed no sign of giving way, and a determined conflict then began between the police and the rioWrs. .The latter.ware rapidly rein-' forced"from"all parte,of Calcutta, and its vicinity. It fa even stated that telegrams were despatched" up oountry calling upon all true Mahomedans to hasten to" tho aid of their bo-teligieniatp. As tho situation was becoming serious the military was called out, The troops dispersed the mob, who," however, as quickly reassembled amid constantly growing exoitemenb as soon as the soldiers.were withdrawn. For over forty-eight hours quite one-third of the town was in the hands of 5,000 determined anti-European rioters. Twice the troops were summoned, and af terclearing thestreets were again withdrawn. The mob became more and more exasperated. Detached" parties stoned Europeans wherever they could find them, dragging them from, their gharries. Several escaped owing to their horses, when struck with the stones, boltiDg. The Entalla pumping station was also attacked. Inside it were many women and children and two or three European inspectors. The resident engineer courageously held the gate against overwhelming odds. Information of their critical position- was telephoned to the authorities just before jhe wire was cut, and the besieged people in the pumping station were only rescued in the nick of time; AH the available; wires were destroyed, the rioters all the time'indulging in fierce war cries. ...With these were mingled vile epithets and threats,'and many Were grossly insulted, a few being eyen subjected to vio"lence. Several portions of Calcutta remained dangerous to Europeans going about singly, owing to the nature of the compromise by which, the riotvvas terminated. On Wednesday evening a body of light horse, forty strong, was, paraded at short | notice, and patrolled : the streets till long l midnight. They were without food or refreshments of any kind, and were peatedly stoned. Only one, however, was severely hurt They were not allowed to take offensive action, and; were constantly exposed to every soit of indignity and insult, and a strong feeling" prevails that this forbearance may bs misinterpreted. At the same' time, the self-jestraint and discipline of the troops'were admirable. All through Thursday, July-1, the riots continued, the mob reassembling as quickly, as they were dispersed, and spreading;to parts of the oily where there was nbdisplay of military force to overawe "theni. - The situation towards the evening became,exceedingly grave.. ' ■»• ;; ' : T- ~ . Oneof:tfie rftbst remarkable and disquiet--ing features was the'; apparent : absente of ill-feeling between thA,different Native seota." This, wasall the. more significant,- inasmuch as the whole'trpul)le-«riginaliy-airpse .fronii.ia claim brought by a Hindoo "against & Mah(K medaui tenant. the estate bfferld 1 the. conditionally.-' ;• The h news;.- rapidly ,sprea<|, : arid by o'clock; hot a single Mahomedan wa& to be seen in the streets, JSfexfc
day there were Wefaigatheringß,6tftrrogant and jubilant Natives, Kwhoiweretinsolently abusive of Europeans in general, but they ': dispersed-atttbout any "force ! being used, Jhaving gained their point. The Mpllas preaohedv openly that twenty-four hours' rioting ; would; all.-their demands. The concession had thuafbecome * standing' menace European, inhabitantsi :cf Calcutta.;.' jhe feeling- of insecurity j,prpi duced in the city, by the result of the riot wasmostprofpund. :./'.. , .. ~"•.. : 'Another account says that most' of the: police patrols were compelled to fire on-the rioters in self-defence, but. the'military did not.-The Europeans and Native police behaved well, and did not escape without a good deal of rough handling. One party of Native police was -surrounded by rioters, aniall pf,t;hem, to the number of twentyfour, were so seriously.injured that they are not expected to recover. The rioters suffered heavily, but : they carried away all.their w ?^ d ?3. instantly, and it is consequently impossible to estimate their loss with any exactness. ""'■'•■'
THE CALCUTTA RIOTS., Issue 10450, 21 October 1897
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