Tens of thousands of Bangladesh guerrilla arms were surrendered to Prime Minister Sheikh Mujib in Dacca on Monday (Jan. 31)--the deadline for the Sheikh's demand that all irregular arms be laid down.
Tens of thousands of Bangladesh guerrilla arms were surrendered to Prime Minister Sheikh Mujib in Dacca on Monday (Jan. 31)--the deadline for the Sheikh's demand that all irregular arms be laid down. At the ceremony, the Sheikh told the gathering of more than 50,000 guerrillas that he did not want to hear any more gunfire in Bangladesh--and promised that a law had been passed to try those who had collaborated with the Pakistan army during the war for independence.
Throughout the day in Dacca, as thousands of guerrillas poured into the city for the colourful arms surrender ceremony, celebration gunfire rang through the air. At least 46 people were admitted to hospital with gunshot wounds.
Prem Prakash, one of several Visnews camera covering developments in the sub-continent, was at the arms surrender in Dacca's cricket stadium.
SYNOPSIS: About fifty thousand Bangladesh guerrillas crowded into Dacca's cricket stadium on Monday to hand over the arms and ammunition they used against Pakistan Government troops in the war for independence. The surrender ceremony, in reply to a demand from Prime Minister Sheikh Mujib, came on the last day allowed by the Sheikh for the laying down of arms. From that day, he said, any irregular groups or people found with arms would be suspected of being enemies of the state.
The leaders of the guerrillas groups, mainly Mujib Bahinis, surrendered their own weapons to the Sheikh while their followers stacked tens of thousands of arms in rows across the stadium. The weapons, mostly captured from Pakistan Government troops during the war, ranged from rifles, automatic weapons and mortars, the recoilless guns, rockets, mines and grenades. A large number originated in the United States of America and the People's Republic of China.
The Sheikh promised the assembled guerrillas, meanwhile, that laws had been passed to try all those who collaborated with the Pakistan army during the war. But, he added, he did not want to hear any more guerrilla gunfire in Bangladesh.