From the archives of the Hindustan Times: August 20, 2019

Calcutta death-roll mounts to 3,000 (1946) Calcutta- Calcutta woke up on Monday (August 19) morning after a comparatively calm night. Police and military patrolled the city throughout the night and fire had to be opened on rioters in several parts of the city.
Updated on Aug 20, 2019 01:50 PM IST
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Calcutta death-roll mounts to 3,000 (1946)

Calcutta- Calcutta woke up on Monday (August 19) morning after a comparatively calm night. Police and military patrolled the city throughout the night and fire had to be opened on rioters in several parts of the city. Unofficial estimates put the number of dead in the riots at 3,000 and injured at several thousands.

Though the general situation throughout the city is quiet today (August 19), stray murders and looting and arson continue and in consequence apprehension still prevails, says a Bengal Government Press note.

In spite of today’s incidents, more people are out on the streets, private cars are moving about and ration shops are opening. More telegraph and telephone operators and staff are reporting for duty. Cafes and hotels have started catering to limited number of guests from affected areas.

Earlier, at 4 p.m. a Government spokesman stated at a Press conference that the position as it stood then was that the situation was definitely under control in north Calcutta and that the general sense of apprehension felt in certain areas of south Calcutta was unjustified.

Mr Sarat Chandra Bose it is learnt does not agree with the Government’s appreciation of the situation given at the Press conference. He considers the situation to be very explosive. Mr Sarat Bose tried to contact the Viceroy on the trunk telephone with a view impressing on his the seriousness of the situation and ask him personally to visit Calcutta and see the conditions in the city.

Bodies Lying About: The dead are still lying about in a number of areas, and at one place in Lower Circular Road volunteers have picked the bodies clean to the bone. The number of buildings burnt is considerable, the fire brigade having attended to about 1,250 calls during the past three days. They were unable to attend to a large number. Looting was carried on a large scale during the riots, and the loss is estimated at millions of rupees.

England regain ‘Ashes’ after 19 years (1953)

The Oval- Australia have lost the “ashes.” England won the fifth Test convincingly, beating Australia by eight wickets. Compton made the winning-hit.

As I look back over it now, the crowd milling in thousands on the ground where English cricket prestige has been so thoroughly restored, I feel certain that the game was really won last Saturday. The exciting incidents of the past two days have merely been obsequies.

When Australia won the toss on Saturday morning the fate of this game and the 1953 “ashes” seemed to be safe in Australia’s keeping. Had one known then how capriciously this Oval pitch was to react to the usual wear and tear of the game, England’s chances would have been written off immediately.

The tantalizing manner in which Bedser used the humid atmosphere to implement his swing bowling, and the enthusiastic support given him by young Trueman, making his first appearance in this series of Tests, took all preliminary advantages away from Australia, and from then onward the game was inevitably England’s.

Australia lost this game wonderfully well. Throughout the match their fielding was equal to the best standards ever set by any Australian team anywhere.

It would be unfair to individualize in this, but it would be more unfair still not to mention the name of Alan Davidson. Never have I seen a more brilliantly sustained exhibition of all-round fielding than his. Even when England needed only four runs to win, and with Morris bowling reprehensibly as befits an opening batsman, Davidson, with a super- human one-handed effort at square-leg, dragged in a bullet-like sweep shot from Compton to make the match last one ball longer.

A GRAND EFFORT : There is no disgrace in defeat for this Australian team. They have done a grand job and have used their limited resources to full advantage all the time. Lindwall has been their tower of strength. He is still a bowling star of the highest magnitude.

Johnston-a not thoroughly fit Johnston-was prepared to bowl until nightfall or after, if necessary. The splendid way in which these two men made England fight for every one of those winning runs today made fruits of victory all the sweeter for England.

Iron Lady Sharmila to be released after 14 years (2014)

Imphal- A Manipur district court on Tuesday (August 19) ordered the release of activist Irom Sharmila, who has been on indefinite hunger strike for almost 14 years to protest human rights abuses in the region.

Sharmila, known as the Iron Lady of Manipur, has been under house arrest on fears that she wanted to commit suicide, but the court said the charge had not been proved.

“I am of the firm opinion that the charge of attempt to commit suicide was wrongly framed against the petitioner,” sessions judge A Guneshwar Sharma said, adding that the prosecution had failed to establish “the most important ingredient of intention to commit suicide”.

He, however, said since her protest was political in nature, the government could “take appropriate measures for her health and safety, such as nose feeding, etc, in case she decides to continue with her fast”.

Sharmila began her fast in November 2000 to demand withdrawal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), which gives security forces sweeping powers to search, arrest or shoot people, after she witnessed paramilitary soldiers allegedly gun down 10 people at a bus stop near her home.

Refusing any food or water to draw people’s attention to human rights abuses at the hands of security forces, she was arrested and sent to a prison hospital in 2000, where she was force-fed through a nasal drip.

Since then, the Manipur government has been arresting Sharmila every year, as the law does not allow for anyone to be held under the charge of attempt to commit suicide for more than 364 days.

AFSPA covers large parts of the Northeast and Kashmir and critics say it is a cover for human rights abuses.

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