fifty years ago May 18, 1971 Archives

From the Archives (May 18, 1971): 3.5 lakh refugees in Coochbehar

Coochbehar, May 17: About 3.5 lakh evacuees from Bangla Desh are officially reported to have crossed into the Coochbehar district of West Bengal till Saturday. Of them about 1.5 lakhs have been accommodated in 85 Government camps. The rest are either putting up with relatives and friends or living in the open air.

Meanwhile, a PTI correspondent on a tour from Jalpaiguri to Haldibari found yesterday streams of evacuees anxiously waiting on the roadside and in open spaces to be taken to places of safety. Several hundreds were still trekking to the Indian territory through Haldibari, Deaganj, and South Berubari borders.

The Union Minister for Industrial Development, Mr. Moinul Haq Choudhry, said in Lucknow yesterday that either the Pakistan Government or the countries which were responsible for arming it should bear the bill for the rehabilitation of the East Bengal refugees in India. The Indian Government, he added, apart from asking for compensation for their rehabilitation would also ask the Pakistan Government to take them back.

Mr. Choudhry said about 30 per cent of the refugees from East Bengal were Muslims while ten per cent belonged to other religions and the rest were Hindus.

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Printable version | Jul 25, 2021 9:35:22 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/archives/from-the-archives-may-18-1971-35-lakh-refugees-in-coochbehar/article34579713.ece

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