Left-wing guerrilla fighters who fought for Bangladesh against the Pakistan Government army laid down their arms at a ceremonial surrender in Dacca on Sunday (January 30).
Left-wing guerrilla fighters who fought for Bangladesh against the Pakistan Government army laid down their arms at a ceremonial surrender in Dacca on Sunday (January 30). The ceremony, in which arms of the National Awami Party, the Communist Party and the Students Union were handed to Bangladesh Premier Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, came one day before the Sheikh's deadline for such arms surrenders.
But just outside Dacca, a large community of Bihari Moslems still retained their weapons, despite threats from the Sheikh that he would "take them away". The area was under curfew following two days of violence in which 16 people died in fighting between the Moslems--a 1 1/2 - million minority group--and Bengalis. Biharis, who have feared reprisals since independence was obtained, claimed that Bengalis started the fighting.
Prem Prakash, one of several Visnews cameramen covering the situation, shot this film.
SYNOPSIS: In Bangladesh, just one day before the expiry of a deadline for guerrillas to lay down the arms they used in the fight for independence, groups of left-wing freedom fighters handed their weapons ever to Prime Minister Sneikh Mujibur Rahman. At the ceremonial surrender, in Dacca on Sunday, the groups which handed over large quantities of arms and ammunition included Communist Party elements, formerly pre-Peking Awami League guerrillas, and members of the Students Union. The weapons, captured from the Pakistan Government army during the war for independence, originated mainly in the United States and the People's Republic of China. Most were already stacked neatly in rows when the leaders of each group presented their sten-gone to Sheikh Mujib......
But outside Dacca, the scene was not such a happy one. For in the Moslem enclave in Mohammed Pur, an estimated three quarters of a million Bihari Moslems were put under curfew after two days of armed fighting with Bengalis in which 16 people died. The Biharis, a 1 1/2-million minority group in Bangla Desh, had also refused to give up their arms--despite threats from Sheikh Mujib that he would "take them away". The Biharis, who as a minority ethnic group feared reprisals from the Bengalis ones independence was obtained, claimed that a Bengali group touched off the fighting with a machine-gun attack on a Moslem police patrol inside Mohammed Pur. The Bengalis have accused them of sympathising with the hated Pakistan Government troops during the war.