Daily Telegraph (London)

June 29 1971

Reign of terror still by army in East Bengal says MP

By Clare Hollingworth

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“The generals must stop the trigger-happy and arbitrary actions of many units,” he said. “I could not put my hand on my heart and recommend anyone to return to Pakistan if they were Hindu or had any connection with Awami League”.

“Indeed I doubt whether it is safe for anyone to return to East Pakistan from India with the Army in its present mood.”

One step towards restoring confidence might be, said Mr. Jessel, the replacement of Lt.-Gen. Tikka Khan in the post of Military Governor by a soldier who knew something of how to win the hearts and minds of Bengalis.

Mr. Jessel claimed the Pakistani authorities were trying to “have it both ways” by their emphatic statements that the Feni bridge between Dacca and Chittagong was destroyed by Indian officers coming from across the border.

At the same time they razed to the ground scores of villages near the bridge because they had harboured Bangla Desh guerrillas.

Mr. Reginald Prentice, Labour MP for East Ham North,, though not so forthright, said he toured the Barisal area in the delta on Sunday last, and order was not yet restored, although he had heard an impressive weight of reports of repressive army action against nearby villages.

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