Thousands of Biharis at the Adamjee jute mill outside Dacca are plagued by food shortages which are more serious than their fear of Mukti Bahini guerrillas.
Thousands of Biharis at the Adamjee jute mill outside Dacca are plagued by food shortages which are more serious than their fear of Mukti Bahini guerrillas. The minority Bihari people incurred the anger of the Bengali majority by siding with Pakistani troops during the country's independence struggle. While Bangladesh security forces conduct a thorough search for arms and West Pakistani soldiers in Bihari suburbs of Dacca, these Biharis struggle to survive on limited Red Cross supplies, and in constant fear of the Mukti Bahini guerrillas.
SYNOPSIS: Twelve miles from Dacca, at the Adamjee jute mill, thousands of Biharis take refuge from Mukti Bhini guerrillas. They've been here since December.
The Red Cross has tried to relive the threat of starvation hanging over these people, but the wheat and rice it sends are hardly enough to last a few days.
The Biharis -- a Moslem community which incurred Bengali anger by siding with Pakistan in the recent independence struggle -- believe their lives will be in danger as long as they remain in Bangladesh.
But lives lost here have been the victims of malnutrition. Indian troops have to use strong-arm measures to control the fight for food which develops at distribution times. Many Biharis have sold clothes and belongings to buy food from local markets.
Epidemics of cholera and smallpox have been checked. Every day the Biharis line up for their injections. There is no medicine for hunger, but food. That seems to be always in short supply.
The Bangladesh government says it plans to move the Biharis to a cordoned -off area in the capital, Dacca.