If the Madras trading firms have done nothing else by their appeal to Lord Willingdon, they have at least done something to justify the high prices which their branch establishments at Ootacamund and other stations in the Nilgiris will doubtless be reluctantly compelled to charge during the coming season. Apart from this, however, they have undoubtedly put forward a very strong case for the control of the monopoly grip in which the South India Railway holds the Nilgiri region. To the unfortunates who are struggling in that grip the encomiums paid to the railways of India by Sir Arthur Anderson at Delhi this week will appear to have no local application. “The railways may, I consider, justly congratulate themselves,” said Sir Arthur Anderson, “on the manner in which they have met the call made on them.” It may be noted that, while Sir Arthur justly concedes to the railways as a whole the right to congratulate themselves, he refrains from passing any general order to the public to join in the felicitation; and for this relief the shopkeepers of Ootacamund, who have been reduced to praying, as a favour, that goods may be booked for that station at least twice a week, will doubtless be duly grateful.
HOWRAH STATION INCIDENT
On Friday afternoon an old man of about 80 years was found lying unconscious on the Howrah station platform, with a pair of snapped leg shackles and a convict’s dress and cap lying by his side. The man wore a jail ticket on his neck. He was removed by Sergeant Roberts, of the Railway Police, to the thana where he made a rambling statement to the effect that his name was Raju Kumar and that he had travelled from Manbhum. He further stated that he was given some sort of weed to swallow. From the facts that the man was too old and to have escaped from jail, it is surmised that an escaped convict drugged him in the train, put the jail ticket round his neck when the train reached Howrah and escaped.
BUDGE BUDGE MOTOR CAR DACOITY
The case in which F.L. Beecher, an expolice sergeant of the Calcutta Police Force, and fourteen others were sent up on a charge of dacoity with murder in the house of Dari Sirdar of Budge Budge, came on for hearing before Mr. P. Sen, Sub-divisional Magistrate of Alipore. Mr. Kanji Lall, Counsel, applied for bail on behalf of Beecher and submitted that there was no satisfactory evidence against his client. Mr. S.N. Mullick, vakil, who appeared for one of the accused, Ahamuddin, who surrendered himself in court, also applied for his client’s release on bail. Both were rejected. Babu Bhopal Krishna Ghosh, pleader, for the accused Mukhia, Serkhan and Golam Mohamed, stated that one of his clients, Mukhia, was recently shot dead in the Machuabazar section of the town and urged that there was absolutely no evidence against the other two.
DEAF AND DUMB SCHOOL
The annual prize distribution of the Calcutta Deaf and Dumb School was held in the school hall in Upper Circular Road. The Hon. Mr. Arden Wood, presided and there was a large gathering including a number of ladies, European and Indian. The prize distribution was preceded by an interesting demonstration of the method of teaching followed in the school, and a number of recitations and an excellently produced tableaux of the story of Harish Chandra from Mahabharat by the students. The Hon. Secretary, Mr. P.D. Bose, then read the annual report which showed that there were 84 pupils on the rolls on the 31st December last, 59 being boarders and the rest day scholars, of which four were girls. The Committee were able to report further development of the industrial department.
THE HANDLEY PAGE IN BOMBAY
The Handley Page Aeroplane Co. have placed at the disposal of the Children’s Welfare Exhibition and Fete a gift of three separate flights over Bombay. Seats for fourteen passengers are available at each flight. The Exhibition Committee will raffle for these flights and a hundred tickets at ten rupees each will be sold for each flight. Since the arrival of the Handley Page machine in Bombay joy rides over the island have become the fashion of the day. A large number have already taken advantage of the opportunity for flights. A number of flights are being undertaken both during the day and night. Bookings for seats are very heavy and there are quite a large number on the waiting list.