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Mass pressure against the trial of the INA POWs (A prisoner of war), sometimes described as “an edge of a volcano”, brought about a decisive shift in the government’s policy. The British had initially decided to hold public trials of several hundreds of INA prisoners, besides dismissing them from service and detaining without trial around 7,000 of them. They compounded the folly by holding the first trial at the Red Fort, in Delhi, in November 1945, and putting on dock together a Hindu, Prem Kumar Sehgal, a Muslim, Shah Nawaz Khan, and a Sikh, Gurbaksh Singh Dhillon. Another issue was provided by the use of the Indian Army units in a bid to restore French and Dutch colonial rule in Vietnam and Indonesia. This enhanced the anti-imperialist feeling among a section of urban population and the Army. Congress Support for INA Prisoners ● At the first post-War Congress session in September, 1945 at Bombay, a strong resolution was adopted, declaring Congress support for the INA cause. ● Defence of the INA prisoners in the court was organised by Bhulabhai Desai, Tej Bahadur Sapru, Kailash Nath Katju, Jawaharlal Nehru and Asaf Ali. ● INA Relief and Enquiry Committee distributed small sums of money and food, and helped arrange employment for the affected. ● Fund collection was organised. Those who supported the INA cause in varying degrees, apart from the Congress, included the Muslim League, Communist Party, Unionists, Akalis, Justice Party, Ahrars in Rawalpindi, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, Hindu Mahasabha and the Sikh League.

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