Christian Science Monitor

June 30 1971


Fearful Whispers in East Pakistani Streets

By Henry S. Hayward

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"We walked for two days and two nights, stopping to rest now and then. We had nothing to eat. There were thousands of others walking away from Dacca. Like us, they were heading for the safety of native villages." The village they headed for was in Comilla District, which is adjacent to the Indian border in eastern East Pakistan. This was Bangla Desh resistance area. Freedom fighter guerrilla attacks will occur there regularly. "For over 20 days we stayed there. Then we heard that Army troops were in the region, searching village by village and house by house for Bengalis and Bangla Desh sympathizers.

"HAD TO FLEE AGAIN"

"We had to flee again. I decided Dacca probably was the safest place. So we walked all the way home once more. I am a Hindu, but that first night back we supped in a Christian house. They were kind to us - and now I am thinking of becoming a Christian."

Such personal accounts as these have their variations, but the thence is always the same. They are ordinary people who have done no wrong, uprooted by terror of military or communal strife. Even today they are deeply apprehensive.


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