• Short Summary

    India's Prime Minister, Mrs. Gandhi, announced on Thursday (16 Dec) that all Pakistan troops in?

  • Description

    India's Prime Minister, Mrs. Gandhi, announced on Thursday (16 Dec) that all Pakistan troops in East Pakistan had surrendered to India.

    She said the surrender came as Indian troops marched into the East Pakistan capital, Dacca.

    The fell of Dacca happened just twelve months after the election in East Pakistan which was won overwhelmingly by the Awami league -- headed by Sheikh Mujib.

    But the intervening year saw a declaration of martial law in East Pakistan, the imprisonment of Sheikh Mujih -- and the outlawing of the Awami cague. It saw the sudden rise of the Bangladesh movement -- and the outbreak of civil war.

    The bloodsheik East pakistan caused a flood of refugees into neighbouring India -- ??? major problem for the India authorities, faced suddenly with the task ???ding an extra ten million people.

    With rela??? between India and the Pakistan Government deteriorating rapidly ??? came talk of war -- and fighting broke out at the and of November, to be followed a few days later by a concerted Indian drive into East Pakistan.

    A few days ago with Pakistan troops retreating before the Indian onslaught, the Indian government announced formal recognition for the independence Government of Bangladesh -- an event marked by wild scenes of elation in the Indian capital. New Delhi.

    SYNOPSIS: Dacca -- December 1970. Election posters reflect the lively campaign for an election intended to clear the way for a return to civilian government in Pakistan after thirteen years of military rule. There was a mood of hope in Dacca -- and twenty different political parties went about the job of wooing the voters with promises of improvement and reforms. And it was the popular Awami League which came out on top -- headed by the colourful figure of Sheikh Mujib Rahman.

    The disastrous floods only a few weeks earlier had an undoubted effect on the election outcome. East Pakistanis voted in a totally different manner to their countrymen in the western sector. There'd been widespread criticism of the distant government machine in Karachi, for the delay in getting food to the victims of the floods. So desperate was the plight of some villagers that they fought over the food as it was unloaded from relief aircraft.

    Sheikh Mujib was the hero of the people of East Pakistan. But a great gulf -- both geographical and political -- separated him from the President in Karachi. Sheikh Mujib wanted far-reaching autonomy for the eastern province -- and when it became clear such autonomy would not be allowed, there was an outbreak of guerrilla warfare, and the first call for an independent Bangladesh was heard. Martial law was declared, the Awami League outlawed -- and the Sheikh was accused of treason.

    Meanwhile in India -- stirrings of support for the Bangladesh movement. Thousands of Indians demonstrated near the border with East Pakistan -- demanding an end to martial law, and freedom for Sheikh Mujib and his supporters. Food was collected in India for the Bangladesh guerrilla forces -- and truckloads of young Indians rolled towards the border, apparently in an effort to offer their services to the Bangladesh movement. In East Pakistan -- civil war. Reports from the battlefronts were few and contradictory. This Bangladesh unit was welcomed in an East Pakistan village which it is alleged was all but destroyed by Pakistan government troops. There were stories of bloodshed and suffering -- and the reopening of traditional racial feuds. Accurate casualty figures will never be known but reports from refugees suggested fierce hand-to-hand fighting, and bitter reprisals for defeated units on both sides.

    With the civil war came more direct involvement from India. The scale of the fighting in East pakistan led to a steady and increasing flow of refugees out of East Pakistan into the Indian state of West Bengal. Some of the refugees were injured, some were old, many needed medical attention -- and all needed food. Within a few months ten million refugees had crossed the border - either by foot... or by crossing a border river in boats that at times became dangerously overcrowded. For the Indian Government -- the refugees problem became a major headache and Mrs. Gandhi issued a world-wide appeal for help. The help came -- but, according to the Indian Government, not fast enough.

    Flying to Delhi to sum up the problem at first hand came representatives of the United Nations -- and their visits were followed by more world-wide appeals.

    The final recognition of Bangladesh by India came last week -- but not before four days of all-out fighting between India and pakistan. If news ??? recognition was welcomed in East Pakistan -- it was greeted with ecstasy by Bangladesh supporters an India. With Bangladesh formally recognised, the India drive into East Pakistan increased its momentum.

    Indian jets strafed and bombed the East Pakistan capital, Dacca.

    In the wake of bombing -- the inevitable human misery. Homes destroyed... their occupants killed or wounded. This in a city that twelve moths earlier had faced an election with such expectation.

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  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA6PMEDQ1JZRJO69HTOLICDT8S3
    Media URN:
    VLVA6PMEDQ1JZRJO69HTOLICDT8S3
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    17/12/1971
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Colour
    Duration:
    00:05:15:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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