The tragedy which was enacted at Fort William on Monday exhibits the vexed question of child marriage in an aspect which is more lurid than novel. The sepoy Hussain Beg, who murdered his son-in-law and another man and then killed himself, all within the space of about five minutes, was apparently a man of excellent character, with 13 years’ service. It seems clear from the story presented to the police that the tragedy was precipitated by the attempt of the two murdered men to deprive him forcibly of his little daughter, or step-daughter, who had been married to one of them. Child marriages frequently take place among poor people, but in such cases the girl wife is almost invariably allowed to remain with her parents until she attains a marriageable age. Occasionally, however, the husband becomes impatient, and insists upon his wife being handed over to him, and when the parents object, trouble is very apt to ensue. In a shocking case which came before the Calcutta High Court two years ago, a man of 25 deliberately attacked his girl wife in the street, and murdered her because her mother would not allow her to live with him. In the Fort William case the husband attempted to abduct the girl in defiance of the parents’ wishes, and the distracted father chose a terrible method of intervention. It is difficult to see how such cases are to be prevented so long as child marriages are sanctioned by usage and tradition.
CALCUTTA INDIGENT STUDENTS’ FUND
The Viceroy’s Donation
(From Our Special Correspondent)
Simla, Aug 5
Dr. Sarbadhicary, of the Calcutta University, had a long interview with the Viceroy on Monday. His Excellency has given a donation of Rs 1,000 to the Calcutta Indigent Students’ Fund of the Calcutta University Institute. The Viceroy has also been pleased to give permission to Dr. Sarbadhicary to let His Excellency’s and lady Hardinge’s names be associated with the Indigent Fund which has been established by the Children’s Entertainment Committee. Permission has also been given by the Viceroy to associate Their Excellencies’ names with the Football Cup to be annually presented by Mr. Ramendra Nath Tagore to be competed for on June 20th every year.
EUROPEAN LADY BURNED TO DEATH
(From Our Correspondent)
Bowringpet, Aug 5
There has died under very sad circumstances Mrs. Wheeler, wife of Mr. W.H. Wheeler of the Electricity Department, from the effects of burns. Mrs. Wheeler was washing a piece of silk in the bath-room where a kettle of water was boiling on an oven, towards which she had her back turned. Suddenly her dress caught fire. While trying to run into the house, owing to the high winds blowing at the time, her garments got completely ablaze, although every effort was made to extinguish the fire. The unfortunate lady died a few days later.
Three Congresses In London
London, Aug 5
Besides the International Congress of Medicine of five thousand delegates, who include the world’s most prominent doctors, which Prince Arthur of Connaught will open tomorrow, two other medical conferences are meeting in London.
Mr. Asquith at Westminster opened the Tuberculosis Conference under the auspices of the National Association for the Prevention of Consumption, while Mr. Burns was the chief speaker at the English-speaking Conference on Infant Mortality at Caxton Hall yesterday. Doctor Hector Mackenzie, of Brompton Hospital, Doctor Sims Woodhead and others, speaking at the Westminster Congress, contended that the partisans of tuberculin had not made out their case.