New York Times

May 23 1971

Three Million Links In A Chain of Misery

By Sydney H. Schanberg

Previous<<< Page 1 of 5 >>>Next

NEW DELHI.-The frightened refugees pouring into India from East Pakistan have posed for New Delhi a problem perhaps as serious as any it has faced since independence In 1947.

According to Indian figures, the number of Bengalis who have crossed over to escape the Pakistan Army-which since March 25 has been trying to crush the Bengali independence movement in East Pakistan-has Sopped three million. Tens of thousands more arrive every day- pitiful, dazed, broken people carrying a few salvaged belongings. Some are wounded. Others have died on the way.

They are now massed, like a human chain. in schools, public buildings and open fields along India's 1350-mile border with East Pakistan. India is trying to provide adequate shelter and care, but camps of tents or bamboo- and-thatch barracks cannot be erected fast enough to keep up with the flow. Schools have been shut down to house some of the refugees, but these cannot be kept closed indefinitely.


Previous<<< Page 1 of 5 >>>Next

Comments, corrections, contributions to

Back to 1971-05-23 page Homepage