OCCASIONAL NOTE

At a moment when the so-called “Lucknow Contract” arrived at between a handful of Hindu and Mussulman leaders is being gravely discussed by a committee in London, it is of interest to note the existing relations between Hindu and Moslem villagers – who form at least 75 per cent of the two communities – as revealed in a nonpolitical work. In a recently published Manual of District Board Work dealing with Water Supply, Mr. L.C. Sen Gupta, B.E., District Engineer, Berhampore, is obliged, for practical purposes, to consider the prevalent customs of the people with whom the District Boards have to deal. He notes the following curious one: “Amongst the Hindus,” he writes, “the prevalent custom is that a well in which a cow cannot turn round and round cannot be used by both the Hindus and the Mahomedans – that is, if a Mahomedan once touches such a well, the water of it is spoiled and no Hindu with religious scruples will use its water any more. In many districts where the population consists of both Hindus and Mahomedans the wells are for this reason made of six foot diameter, it being taken for granted that a cow can turn round in a six foot diameter well.” Even in purely Hindu villages Mr. Sen Gupta thinks it better to construct the well of six foot diameter because “if the well is touched even accidentally by a Mahomedan traveller, the Hindus will never again use the well until it is purified by some religious ceremony.”

EUROPEAN POLICE OFFICERS ASSAULTED

On Monday afternoon Inspector McDonald and Sergeant McDonald were on duty at No. 2 platform, Howrah Station, when they noticed some men attempting to molest a number of women passengers, who were walking ahead of them. The two officers held up the men at the barrier, whereupon one of them named Mohabir Pershad seized Sergeant McDonald by the waist and attempted to throw him to the ground. Several people, including Sergeant Paul of the Railway Police, came to the assistance of Sergeant McDonald and rescued him. Mohabir Pershad then made for Inspector McDonald, hit him with his fist, and ran away. He had not got far, however, when he was caught by a European. He was removed to the Railway Police thana where he complained that he was ill; and he was taken to the Howrah Jail Hospital for medical examination.

KARACHI S AERODROME

An important point in connection with the relations between the Government and municipality was raised in a recent application by the military authorities for the transfer of an area measuring over two and a quarter million square yards on Mugger Pir Road for the purposes of a landing ground for aeroplanes. When the letter was considered by the managing committees of Karachi municipality that body decided to make a representation to the Commissioner in Sind placing before him details of the huge areas of land acquired by the Government in recent years and asking that the question of granting compensation to the municipality in respect of such enormous areas be considered. It is suggested, that another site, preferably on the east of the road, be selected for the purposes of the flying ground and that the Government should grant land to the municipality in exchange.

TEN MILLION BUTTON-HOME PEACE FLAGS

SIMLA, AUG 1

Rai Bahadur Seth Sukhlall Karnani, O.B.I., of Calcutta, has offered His Excellency the Viceroy a gift of ten million button-hole flags in order that they may be sold during the peace celebrations in December and the proceeds devoted to the fund for assisting men disabled in the war as well as homes which have lost their supporters. The donor, it may be remembered, gave a similar gift to the “Our Day” Committee in 1917 and recently headed the list of subscribers to the war fund in the Punjab when he contributed no less than eleven lakhs. The Viceroy has gratefully accepted the gift of these flags and the Peace Celebration Committee will arrange for the necessary distribution of the flags in communication with the donor.

PUNJAB TRIALS

SIMLA, AUG 1

Orders have been passed by the Lieutenant-Governor of the Punjab in respect of five persons recently sentenced to transportation by the Martial Law Commission in connection with the disturbances in Lahore. The sentence in the case of Pandit Rambhaj Datt and Lala Duni Chand is commuted to one of 3 years’ rigorous imprisonment, in that of Lala Harkishen Lal to one of 2 years’ rigorous imprisonment, and in those of M. Allah Din and Mota Singh to one of one year’s rigorous imprisonment. The sentence of forfeiture has in each case been remitted.