Indira on mission in the West
October 23, 1971
INDIA WILL NOT ACT IN ANGER: INDIRA
Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi today began her 20-day tour of six western countries including the USA and Britain amid intensified military preparation by India and Pakistan in their respective border areas.
Indira Gandhi, in a radio broadcast to the nation on the eve of her departure, said the tour was important at that critical moment to put to world leaders the reality of the situation.
"The very gravity of the situation," Indira said in her four'minute broadcast, "demands that we do not speak or act in anger or in haste. It is a time for alertness not only of our defence forces but of all our people."
She called upon the Indian people to stand united and alert because "our country is facing danger".
ON THE WAR FRONT
Mukti Bahini today launched a surprise mortar attack on a column of Pakistani soldiers while they were moving towards Kakdanga in Satkhira. Four occupation soldiers were killed and five were seriously wounded in the action. In an encounter with the occupation troops in Patkelghata area today freedom fighters killed 15 enemy soldiers.
In another operation, Mukti Bahini ambushed enemy patrol in Jagadalhat area of Rangpur district, killing nine and injuring eight enemy soldiers. On the same day they encountered a Pakistani patrol near Tenguria of Dinajpur district, killing six irregulars and injuring four. Another group of Mukti Bahini today engaged a Pakistani patrol in Baidyanathpur. The occupation troops suffered three casualties in the operation. Mukti Bahini ambushed the Pakistani patrol in Bhaldao and killed one soldier. The same day, the freedom fighters captured 13 razakars along with 12 rifles at Palankhali near Bajumara.
In another incident, three enemy soldiers were killed in Daudkandi Police Station area due to mine explosion.
BHUTTO DECIDES NOT TO BOYCOTT POLLS
The Pakistan Peoples Party Chairman Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, who had earlier threatened to boycott the December by-elections in East Pakistan, told journalists after talks with Pakistan President Yahya Khan that his party would put up 20 to 30 candidates. He denied having negotiations with any political party in East Pakistan to form an electoral alliance.
PUNJABI MILITIA MOBILISED
The Indian government mobilised the militia in the northwestern border state of Punjab. A spokesman said the action was intended to prepare the state for any developments arising from reports that Pakistan had moved large contingents of troops into the area.
Shamsuddoza Sajen is a journalist and researcher. He can be contacted at email@example.com