The battle for Hili, an East Pakistan town close to the border with India, is over.
The battle for Hili, an East Pakistan town close to the border with India, is over. Visnews cameraman Durgadas Chatterji found the Pakistan Army in full control of the town when he visited the area on Wednesday and Thursday (May 5 and 6).
Across the border is the Indian town of Radhikapur. This was the scene of an alleged shelling incident a couple of days earlier. Indian sources claimed that during a three hours artillery barrage shells hit the town railway station and a security force camp.
Chatterji filmed damage at the station in the town, which has since been largely evacuated.
And in a nearby village, he filmed units of the self-styled Bangla Desh liberation army regrouping and re-equipping with the avowed aim of making guerrilla attacks on the Pakistan Army.
SYNOPSIS: The battle for Hili, an East Pakistan town close to the border with India, is over. Last week it was in the hands of the self-styled Bangla Desh liberation army. Now the regular Pakistan Army is back in control.
Across the border, Indian troops keep a watchful eye on the situation. The atmosphere has been tense since last week's fighting, when Indian sources claimed there was a three-hour artillery duel across the border. This rice mill was one of the buildings damaged.
The flood of refugees has passed. East Pakistanis crossed the border to escape the fighting. Then Indian villagers and townspeople were evacuated as the big guns opened up. During the week, the Indian authorities, struggling to cope with the massive influx of refugees, appealed for international aid to help solve the problem.
The Indians estimate nearly one and a half million refugees have so far crossed the border. During the last few days, they estimated that the exodus has increased to about sixty-thousand people a day.
Though the Pakistan Army is back in control of Hili, members of the ousted Bangla Desh units are still in the area. These are some of them -- regrouping and re-equipping ready to launch guerrilla attacks against the government troops.
During last week's artillery barrage, Indian sources claimed that Radhikapur railway station suffered some of the worst damage. An engine driver was wounded here. There were reports that shells also hit a refugee camp just outside the town, killing five East Pakistanis -- and wounding twenty others. An Indian security force camp was also said to have been hit.