For two days and two nights Bombay has been the scene of fierce communal rioting, in which 24 persons have lost their lives and 400 have been injured, 70 seriously.
This is the first serious outbreak of rioting in British India for some months.
When the trouble began on Saturday morning [May 14] the police were forced to open fire on the rival Hindu and Moslem mobs. When the rioting was resumed yesterday morning the crowds fired at the police, who replied with rifle fire.
The situation was very serious, and soon afterwards companies of the Royal Irish Fusiliers arrived on the scene in three motor lorries. Reinforcements followed later. Armed police patrolled a wide area. Last evening the military had to open fire in six districts.
The trouble originated with two Moslem boys being beaten by Hindus on Saturday. The news spread with lightning speed which is so characteristic of the East, and before the police were able to concentrate in sufficient numbers to prevent the local disturbances spreading, disorders had broken out in more than one locality.
The majority of those killed and injured are Hindus. Hourly, however, the list is being added to and it is expected that the death toll may by tomorrow morning be found to exceed 30.