Lahore, Tuesday, December 2, 1919

Nawab Fateh Ali Khan’s testimony

THE hearing of Lahore evidence was resumed by the Disorders Enquiry Committee on Monday morning with Nawab Fateh Ali Khan Qazalbash in the witness chair. The Nawab Sahib began by describing, in reply to questions by Lord Hunter, a procession which passed before his house on the 6th April shouting “King George is dead,” and abusing him as he had published a letter in the Civil and Military Gazette in which he wrote against the observance of hartal. He did not see what occurred at Anarkali or the Lahore Gate on the 10th April. In his opinion the hartal was anti-British. Asked if any public property was damaged, the witness said that some municipal lamps were broken. The meeting at the Badshahi Mosque on the 11th and 12th kept up the excitement. Peace-abiding and loyal citizens were, deposed the Nawab, in danger in those days. His servants were maltreated because he was considered to be a friend of the Government. There was a danger of his house being set fire to, there were all sorts of rumours which were well received by the crowd, and statements were made against the King-Emperor, his picture burnt and the Government abused. Efforts were made to bring the hartal to an end, but these efforts failed. It was, in the opinion of the witness, necessary for the maintenance of order that the hartal should not continue. Martial Law was also very necessary. Questioned by the Hon. Mr. Justice Rankin, witness said that he did not go to the city on the 11th and 12th to see things for himself. Cross-examined by the Hon’ble Pandit Jagatnarain, Nawab Fateh Ali Khan said that he did not see but heard that pictures of the King-Emperor were burnt. Further examined by Pandit Jagatnarain, witness admitted that in his letter to the Civil and Military Gazette he admitted that he had said that the people were misled by the leaders who kept behind the pardah.

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