SYNOPSIS: After a week which has seen the return of their beloved leader and far reaching changes in the political structure of their country the people of the new state of Bangladesh are beginning to return to normal life.
SYNOPSIS: After a week which has seen the return of their beloved leader and far reaching changes in the political structure of their country the people of the new state of Bangladesh are beginning to return to normal life. But for some of them the outward calm conceals a deep fear. Clifford Luton reports:
The cheering, the rallies, the flag waving is over. In the bazaars of this town of Mohammadpore the ordinary people are about the everyday business of staying alive in a subsistence economy, but for these folk, life is lived against a background of terror.
They are Bihari Moslems. They speak Urdu, rather than the Bengali of the great mass of the population. During the late struggle for national identity they supported Yahya Khan's Pakistan dictatorship. They backed the loser - and now, they fear the consequences:
Here Sheikh Mujibur Rahman at his press conference as follows: (You will find this is take three).
"It is but natural that those who have suffered from the cruelties of the Pakistan forces and their local collaborators are at the moment imbued with bitterness. Despite this they have acted with commendable restraint. I would like to assure our people that those who are responsible for committing atrocities and for collaboration will not go unpunished".
The atrocities are undeniable. Before the news conference at which he spoke, Sheikh Mujibur made sure that cameramen would have the opportunity to film the ruined homes and the weeping women which war left behind. His own home village was wrecked. Every day now the newspapers carry long lists of police officers, local officials and politicians who are said to have helped bring about this ruin. The Prime Minister promises fair trial for the culprits:
Here the Sheikh again: (Take three).
"I would, therefore, appeal to all concerned to remain patient while the due process of lay takes its course."
The trouble is, of course, that the law is too slow for some. These people came here twenty-five years ago after the communal riots which followed the partition of India. They have stayed apart, with their own language and customs they are natural scapegoats:
Here brief interview with Bihari spokesman:
Here take in my question and answer at the presser, the question beginning:
Mr. Prime Minister, British Broadcasting Corp. London etc.. ending on Mujib ".......they must accept the Bengali language and the Bengali culture..."