A hundred years ago August 19, 1921 Archives

From the Archives (August 19, 1921): Bombay labour

After a quiet of several months, there occurred a sudden outburst of labour trouble at the workshops of the G.I.P. Railway on Wednesday afternoon. The work went on as usual in the morning. When the men were returning to the shops in the afternoon after recess at 1 p.m., some of the workers began to throw stones, lumps of iron, etc., at the time office and after half an hour’s hooliganism, deliberately set fire to the time office, destroying the workmen’s records and tickets. Some damage was also done to the work manager’s office. Police force not being near, the rowdies had their own way for a time until a detachment of auxiliary force arrived on the scene and succeeded in clearing men from the workshop compound. The fire-brigade then arrived and put out fire in a short time. The damage is estimated at about twenty-five thousand due to total reckoning of the time office. Police officials with the Chief Presidency Magistrate arrived soon after and order was restored. The railway authorities are unaware of the real cause of troubles. They are inclined to think that a few budmashes among their workmen must have incited others to commit the outrage. Some of the workmen, they think, did not like guards erected at the entrance to the time office some months ago, but no official complaint was made about them.

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