INDIA: Amuck

2 minute read

It was the last day of Ramadan, the month in which the Koran was revealed, and in the hill station of Kanwali. A battalion of the King-Emperor’s Indian soldiers were observing Mohammed’s strict law. During Ramadan, it is written, a Moslem must not enjoy the pleasures of food, drink, tobacco and women from that time in the morning when a white thread can be distinguished from a black one, until the hour of the evening when neither can be seen.

On that last day of the fast (Thanksgiving Eve in the U. S.) most of the soldiers were licking their chops in anticipation of the gorging they would do for the feast of Bairam during the next three days. Among their number, however, was one young sepoy who, half-crazed through abstention, ran amuck during the night. He forced his way into the tent of the battalion’s major, with his rifle shot the major dead in his sleep. Aroused, five other officers—three British and two Indian—rushed to the scene. Bang, Bang, Bang, Bang, Bang,—the sepoy killed all five. The rest of the battalion, believing the fierce Pathans were on the warpath, hastily took up “stand-to” positions around the camp’s wall. Through the darkness they saw the sepoy running away, rifle in hand. A volley of shots burst out and the young soldier assassin dropped dead.

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