India (Akali Sikhs).

Oral Answers to Questions — Scotland. – in the House of Commons on 6th August 1924.

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Photo of Colonel Charles Yate Colonel Charles Yate , Melton

58.

asked the Under-Secretary of State for India whether he is aware that during this year armed bands of Akali Sikhs, known as Jathas, have been collected by an organised body in the Punjab and marched through British territory, terrorising the rural population on the route, to invade the Nabha State and to take forcible possession of religious foundations there, whereby the Nabha State has had to maintain large armed forces to protect its institutions and that serious collisions, with loss of life, have taken place; and whether the British Government, which is responsible by treaty for the protection of the Nabha State against external aggression, will now take the necessary steps to prevent the collection of these Jathas in British India and the invasion of a friendly State?

Photo of Mr Robert Richards Mr Robert Richards , Wrexham

The Government of India are in close communication with the Administrator of the Nabha State, and I have no reason to think that the policy which has been adopted is not the most likely to serve the common interest.

Photo of Colonel Charles Yate Colonel Charles Yate , Melton

Has the hon. Gentleman seen the telegram from Simla on this subject in this morning's newspaper, stating that certain of these men are being arrested; and will the Government now arrest the men who are organising and instigating the march of these Jathas?

Photo of Mr Robert Richards Mr Robert Richards , Wrexham

That is an indication that the Government is doing its duty.

Photo of Mr John Simpson Mr John Simpson , Taunton

Is it a fact that it is now only with great difficulty that these processions are organised at all?

Photo of Mr Robert Richards Mr Robert Richards , Wrexham

I believe that is so.