Mukti Bahini forces -- the guerrilla section of the breakaway Bangla Desh movement -- are now using high-powered gunboats in an effort to reach the East Pakistani town of Khulna.
GV Motor launches on shore
SV Mukti Bahini member wading through mud and loading supplies onto launches (4 shots)
GV Launch leaving
SV Mukti Bahini guerrillas walking to shore
LV & CU Mukti Bahini boarding launch and on board (4 shots)
SV Flag of Bangla Desh TILT TO Mukti Bahini on deck
SV FN rifles stacked on board
SV & CU Mukti Bahini on board (6 shots)
LV Captured huts in hands of Bangla Desh forces and flags
SCU Mukti Bahini on launch
LV Storage huts captured from Pakistan army
LV & SV Gunboat passing in apposite direction as Mukti Bahini watch(2 shots)
LV Bangla Desh flag TILT DOWN TO village
LV & SV Gunboat preparing to tie up (2 shots)
SV Mukti Bahini unloading supplies watched by villagers
SV Machine gun and flag on launch deck
GV Gunboat tied up
Initials OS/2216 OS/2233
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Mukti Bahini forces -- the guerrilla section of the breakaway Bangla Desh movement -- are now using high-powered gunboats in an effort to reach the East Pakistani town of Khulna.
The gunboats carry men and arms to the fighting, and Visnews cameraman Durgades Chatterdji shot this film on one such expedition.
SYNOPSIS: Mukti Bahini forces inside the East Pakistani border are now using high-speed gunboats to transport men and vital supplies of arms and ammunition to their front lines of battle.
The gunboats are converted launches and carry as many guerrillas as possible. Those left behind on one trip wait for the next available boat to take them to the fighting.
This particular gunboat was taking men and arms to the front lines near the town of Satkhira. The boat passed villages alleged to be 'liberated' from the Pakistan army.
The Mukti Bahini leaders were expecting orders to move their men closer to Satkhira, just inside the border, where heavy fighting was predicted. The guerrillas are recruited from the villages en-route -- some are more boys, but all have been trained in the tactics favoured by small arms forces.
The gunboat moved through areas where refugees who had crossed over into India following the declaration of martial law in East Pakistan in March this year, are now reported to be returning. The Mukti Bahini guerrillas are received well by the local people, and are given food and supplies from the sparse stores the villagers have carefully saved.
All of the so-called 'liberated' villages fly the flag of the breakaway Bangla Desh movement, and treat the Mukti Bahini forces with respect. Many of the villagers know that there will be fighting wherever the Mukti Bahini are, but few leave the area -- they prefer to take cover and wait, and most of them are no strangers to fighting.