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1 correction by Moorlock - Show corrections

AFRICAN INDIANS. POLL TAX STRIKE. SITUATION ALARMING. A REIGN OF TERROR. Durban, Nov. 18. The strike of Indian miners in Natal as a protest against the £3 poll-tax imposed upon them is developing alarmingly. A reign of terror prevails on the north coast of Natal, the planters fearing that if the strikers get the upper hand the sugar cane fields and sugar mills, worth hundreds of thousands of pounds, are likely to be wiped out, as the sugar season is now right at its height. On one plantation yesterday 150 acres of cane were burned, the Indians standing by and cheering as the flames swept along. The sugar settlements re- semble military encampments. The coolies are becoming more and more pugnacious, and, armed with cane-cutting knives, they refuse the advances made by the employers and reman sullen and implacable. The strikers yesterday besieged the Edg- combe estate with a view of inducing the workers there to strike. The European women and children were placed in the factories for safety, and the police were summoned. When the police arrived the strikers assailed them with sticks and stones, and in the encounter one trooper and 30 Indians were injured. The Indians on other plantations set fire to the cane and caused serious damage. The situation in Durban itself is extremely serious, as the strike is rapidly becoming general. The harbour, corporation, and railway employees, as well as the drivers, cooks, waiters, and messengers, have struck, and the work of scavenging the city has had to be suspended. It is officially stated that the men who have been sentenced will for the most part work out their sentences in the compounds on the mines to which they belong, as the gaol accommodation is insufficient. The flogging of prisoners will not be allowed, and no arrests will be effected unless violence is committed. The shooting of the Indians is prohibited unless it becomes absolutely necessary for the maintenance of order. A meeting of 4,000 Indians in Durban yes- terday resolved to send to the Indian and the Imperial Governments cable messages pointing out that there is no organisation for the feeding of prisoners, and that if the Go- vernment does not intervene many lives may be lost. The Natal Indian Association, in a cable message to Lord Ampthill, a former Vice- roy of India, states: "Indians here are being sentenced to imprisonment with hard labour for having absented themselves from the roll call. Two magistrates have warned the In= dians that if they refuse to work they will be starved, mercilessly flogged, and driven underground with the lash." The "Cape Times" and the "Natal Mer= cury" have throughout supported the de- mand for the repeal of the 60s. poll-tax im- posed upon the Indians. ASSISTANCE FROM INDIA. Bombay, Nov. 18. Mr. G. K. Gokhale, a member of the Vice- roy's Legislative Council, is organising a monster campaign to support the South African Indians in their resistance of the poll-tax. Both Hindus and Mohammedans are taking part in the meetings, which are being held in all the important towns in India.