Working Committee Banned
Gandhi and many other Congress leaders and officials have been arrested, and there has been rioting in Bombay, Poona, and Ahmedabad.
The Government of India on Saturday night, after Congress’s decision for mass civil disobedience if its demands were not met, issued a statement saying that it would discharge its task in face of the challenge now thrown down by Congress with clear determination. But it was anxious that action should be preventive of an interruption of the war effort and other dangers rather than punitive.
It could not, it declared, enter into discussions about a demand the acceptance of which would plunge India into confusion and anarchy and paralyse her effort in the common cause of human freedom.
With the arrests, the Government of India declared the All-India Congress Committee, its Working Committee, and the Delhi Provincial Congress Committee unlawful organisations interfering with the administration of the law and constituting a danger to the public peace. Similar action has been, or is being, taken in the provinces.
The arrests of Mr. Gandhi, Mr. Nehru, and Dr. Azad, the three chief leaders of Congress, were followed by riotous outbursts in Bombay.
Official statements by the Government of Bombay stated that the police had been forced to use tear gas on five occasions and to open fire five times. Two of the 19 police injured in the firing in the city had died later, and up to 5 p.m. 34 constables and 11 police officers were suffering from other injuries.
A Reuter Bombay telegram put the total killed by bullets at five up to 7 30 p.m. Arrests numbered 149 early last evening.