Riots in Peshawar, 1930
Photograph, India, North West Frontier, 1930.
The Government of India Act 1919 had initiated reforms aimed at involving Indians in all branches of the administration and the gradual development of self-governing institutions. These reforms were not extended to the North West Frontier Province, where the Pathans were considered not yet ready for them. A political agitator, Abdul Ghaffar Khan, began to arouse the Pathans against this discrimination and in 1929 he formed an unarmed paramilitary body known as the 'Red Shirts'.
Though the movement drilled openly and preached sedition and violence along the Frontier, no action was taken until the authorities felt compelled to arrest its leaders at a huge rally in Peshawar on 23 April. The action provoked savage rioting which the Police were unable to contain and military assistance was requested.
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