From the News Bulletins out of Old Delhi, September 1947.
300,000 ENGAGE IN COMMUNAL RIOTS IN NEW DELHI
NEW DELHI, Tuesday.
Nearly 500,000 Moslems, Hindus and Sikhs are fighting in Old Delhi, and two miles away another 100,000 are fighting in the Paharganj area of New Delhi, only half a mile from the shopping centre. Nobody knows the casualties yet, but Moslem sources place them at 10,000.
A south westerly wind carried clouds, of smoke from many fires in the Old City and brought sounds of machlne guns, grenades, rifles and two pounder guns. All the Delhi province has been declared a dangerously disturbed area.
The twin cities are in a virtual stage of siege. Arson, looting and murder over wide areas reached such a stage that police- and reinforced military units turned light artillery and machine guns on rioters. Snipers fired on police and troops as they attempted to keep order in the extremely narrow streets. An American Associated Press correspondent, just before dusk, ran into a battle of rioters attempting to murder a small group of Pathans. Hindu troops mixing with hordes, which began looting Moslem houses and shops at 7 a.m., picked off with rifles Moslems who showed their heads above the parapets or scampered for safety up debris littered streets.
Six large fires were burning last night in Old Delhi, the largest at Paharganj, where the two cities meet beside the New Delhi railway station, Police and armed forces throughout the Delhi Province have been ordered to shoot to kill, if necessary. Lord Mountbatten put his bodyguard, including armoured cars, at the disposal of the Commander of the Delhi area.
A report that bands are massing in the Gurgaon district of East Punjab, where 25 villages were burned down last March, is causing anxiety. Between 30 and 40 Moslem refgees from East Punjab raided the Kaiachi station last night and killed at least 12 persons in retaliation,for Sikhs hacked to pieces at least 50 Moslems at the New Delhi railway station. Bodies, resembling slaughtered cattle were piled on luggage carts. Four persons were killed and 19 injuied when police fired three times on huge clouds surging through the streets of Bangalore defying the curfew.
The BUP conespondent says that he saw little evidence of the police carrying out the official warning that looters will be shot. Ghandi arrived to try and stop the disorders. He left the train 10 miles from New Delhi and conferred with Pandit Nehru and the Foreign Minister.
Reuters stated that several thousand additional troops and police moved into New Delhi while deaths during the past 4 hours are estimated between 300 and 400. The B U P correspondent says that a pitched battle occurred early today in ithe city while normal activities have been paralysed by the curfew. Looters are seeking new victims In the Moslem quarter they smashed windows and took valuables, worth thosuands of pounds. Twenty Biitish planes, chartered by the Pakistan Government, left Bombay with food and medical supplies for Moslem refugees at Palam.
The American Associated Press correspondent at New Delhi after a tour of the Paharganj section, counted 27 persons killed by gunfire. People were bleeding in the streets while Sten guns and rifle fire crackled nearby.