In India the West Bengal government is facing law and order problems with thousands of refugees from East Pakistan who have been living in the Indian states of Madhya Pradesh and Orissa.
SV: State government transit camp with buildings being roofed by refugees. (4 SHOTS)
SV & CU: Refugees cooking and eating. (2 SHOTS)
LV PAN: Tents in mango grove.
SV & CU: Refugee children collecting water from wel. (2 SHOTS)
SV PAN FROM: Refugees walking TO man cooking.
SV & CU: Medicines distributed to women and children in transit camp. (3 SHOTS)
SV: Soldier of the Eastern Rifle Brigade patrolling.
SV PAN FROM: Hasanbad railway station to refugee huts in railyard.
CU PAN: Refugee women sleeping on the ground.
SV & CU: Women and children outside huts cooking. ( 4 SHOTS)
LV: Refugees around huts.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: In India the West Bengal government is facing law and order problems with thousands of refugees from East Pakistan who have been living in the Indian states of Madhya Pradesh and Orissa. The government, made up of left front parties which held sympathetic views towards the refugees' plight is unable to tackle the task of settling the nomads.
SYNOPSIS: At a special state government transit camp about 40 miles from Calcutta refugees gave set about building temporary homes and shelter. These people have been without a permanent home for nearly ten years. Most are from East Pakistan and speak Bengali. But with war breaking out in East Pakistan in 1970 when the independence of Bangladesh was proclaimed, these people fled across the border into India.
They have to settle for a life of poverty and living conditions have been squalid. Since leaving East Pakistan they have spent most of their time in the Indian states of Madhya Pradesh and Orissa. But with the change in the state government of West Bengal last June, they headed east in the hope of getting relief, land and work.
Hygiene standards are low and there is a constant call for medical supplies. The state government has admitted it has not got the facilities to handle the situation. Law and order has been hard to maintain and soldiers from the Eastern Rifle Brigade have had to patrol "problem areas". The transit camps have been set up until such time as a settlement between West Bengal, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh and the Central Government can be reached on where to house the refugees.
West Bengal government M.P.'s have urged the refugees to stay in the transit camps until future plans are decided. They have been warned that no answer can be found if they continue to move.