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But in spite of all this the tenants did not agree to grow indigo ; and ultimately the Sathi factory had to give up indigo cultivation.Thus a heavy load was taken off the shoulders of the tenants.The Statesman of Calcutta deputed a spe- cial correspondent who wrote on the 27th November as follows : " A remarkable state of affairs exists at the present moment at Bettiah in the Champaran district in Bihar.Disputes between the planters and the ryots have led to acts of hostility, and in order to protect the European population large forces of Bengal armed police and Gur- khas have been drafted into the town and its neighbour- hood.The Survey Officers made in- quiries and found that this yearly irrigation tax had been realized even from those tenants who had never derived any benefit from the canal.After a sifting 1907 - 1909 33 inquiry the truth came out and these agreements were cancelled and this tax came to be regarded as an illegal exaction and was stopped.People say even now that in those days the military police and the Gurkhas oppressed them very much, and particularly the tenants have not yet forgotten the name of Inspector Knight, nor can they forget those black days.
They began to look up to him as their true friend and leader.
The factory promised in these agreements to supply enough water for irri- gation, but this promise remained a promise on paper only.
Even tenants, whose fields could never be reached by the water of this canal and who were never benefited thereby, had also to pay this tax of Rs. At the time of the survey of 1913-15 the tenants of the Sathi factory refused to pay this water tax.
Some people went so far as to devise means for driving out the planters.
On re- turning home from the fair the tenants began to talk among themselves about these matters and their ideas began to grow.