While attention in the India-Pakistan war is focused on the battle for Dacca, already some of the territory taken by the Indian troops and Mukti Bahini guerrillas is returning to normal.
While attention in the India-Pakistan war is focused on the battle for Dacca, already some of the territory taken by the Indian troops and Mukti Bahini guerrillas is returning to normal. Satkhira, a small town in the Khulna district near the Indian border, not far from Jessore, is again functioning. Refugees have returned, some after an absence of many months spent sheltering inside India. Outside their homes and shops they hang the flag of Bangladesh, a self-proclaimed new state, recognised by India. The market place is active, the post is delivered, and farmers are once more cultivating their fields and saving what they can of their crops.
SYNOPSIS: The Indian army and the Mukti Bahini guerrillas are advancing on Dacca, the capital of East Pakistan---or , as far as these people are concerned, the capital of the new state of Bangladesh. These traders are in Satkhira, in the Khulna area near the Indian border. The Indians have already been through Satkhira, beating back the Pakistan army. Now, many of the refugees who left have returned, some having spent months sheltering inside India. The town, these people say, has been liberated. And it's quickly turning to normal--even the mail is delivered. The provisional government of Bangladesh is holding meetings to announce its home policy.
The confidence of the people here is shown by the farmers working in the fields. They're bringing in the crops they can save, while their army is said to be advancing rapidly towards Dacca. By Monday, first reports were coming out that there was fighting in the capital itself. Observers say the fall of Dacca is imminent...but Pakistani military leaders say they will fight to the last man.