Bangladesh freedom fighters in the East Pakistan city of Rajshahi, scene of a major slaughter of civilians earlier this month, are laying siege to the Pakistan Army garrison in the city.
SV & GV Woman washing while child looks on
GV PAN Burned-out and damaged buildings
SV Women and children at well
MV ZOOM INTO CU Man squatting
SV & LV BBC crew being rowed across Ganges from india (3 shots)
GV PAN Refugees wade through water carrying possessions and followed by cattle
LV Smoke plume over distant town
CU Sign Rajshahi
GV & SV Bangladesh soldiers in town
MV TRAVEL SHOT Street showing closed shop (2 shots)
GV & SV Block of flats, & Captain at lookout post on top of block (3 shots)
LV PAN FROM Lookout post across fields towards garrison.
Initials BB/0325 TH/DW/BB/0342
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Bangladesh freedom fighters in the East Pakistan city of Rajshahi, scene of a major slaughter of civilians earlier this month, are laying siege to the Pakistan Army garrison in the city.
David Sells and his BBC camera team reached the city by crossing the Ganges. They saw evidence among the ruined buildings of the recent fighting, and they filmed a captain of the local free fighters as he directed operations in the siege against the garrison.
The sound is mainly David Sell's commentary. But the final shots have natural sound of gunfire during the siege.
SYNOPSIS: The city of Rajshahi has been the scene of some of the bitterest fighting in East Pakistan. Homes were laid waste and civilians slaughtered earlier this month by rampaging West Pakistan troops. But the forces of resistance retaliated and swept the soldiers back. When this film was shot, Rajshahi was one of the last major cities in East Pakistan still holding out against the army. But the odds are strong that the city will be reoccupied by the army, perhaps precipitating a new slaughter of its people.
To reach the city, a camera crew had to cross the Ganges and its flood plain from India.
Refugees from the city were already streaming in the opposite direction to escape the threat of future violence. And in a pall of distant smoke continued to hang ominously over Rajshahi.
In the streets, Bangladesh soldiers had control of the city-- except for one area. They say about two thousand civilians were slaughtered by the army before the freedom fighters gained control. Closed shops are evidence of the tens of thousands of people who have already fled from the city.
The Bangladesh are led by a captain of the regular army. He now plans the campaign of attach against his former colleagues. From the top of a block of flats, he directs operations against the garrison where Pakistani troops are under siege.