Dacca. My wife and I watched from our roof the night of March 25th as tanks rolled out of the Cantonment illuminated by the flares and the red glow of fires as the city was shelled by artillery and mortars were fired into overcrowded slums and bazaars. After some days of loud explosions and the ceaseless chatter of machine gun we took advantage of a break in the curfew to drive through the city. Driving past streams of refugees. We saw burned out shacks of the families living by the rail-road tracks. A Bengali friend living close by had watched the army set fire to the hovels, and as the families ran out, he saw them shot “like dogs". He accepted our offer to take him and his family of 12 into our home. In the Old City of Dhaka, we walked through the remains of Nayer Bazaar. Where Moslem and Hindu woodcutters and worked, now only a tangle of iron sheet and smoldering ruins. The Hindu shopkeepers and craftsmen still alive in the bombed ruins of Shankari Bazaar begged me to help them only hours after the army had moved in to kill all the inhabitants. On the 29th of March at Ramna Kali Bari, an ancient Hindu village of 200-300 people in the center of the Dacca Ramna Race Course, we saw the stacks of machine-gunned, burning remains of man, women and children butchered in the early morning hours of the day. I photographed the scene hours later, although the following day three British citizens suspected of photographing a church were set against a wall after grilling by an Army officer and were saved from execution by the timely arrival of the British Consul.
At the Dacca University area on the 29th, we walked through Jagannath Hall and Iqbal Hall, two of the student dormitories, which had been shelled by army tanks and all residents were slaughtered. We saw the breach in the wall where the tank broke through, the mass grave in front of the hall where one man who was forced by the army to help drag the bodies outside, counted 103 of the Hindu students buried there. We saw the massive holes in the walls of the dormitory, the smoking remains of the rooms, and the heavily blood stained floors.
The two ensuing weeks have documented the planned killing of much of the intellectual community, including a majority of the professors at Dacca University and many families of these professors were shoot as well. Full documentation of the names of people killed is difficult due to the army's thorough search of people leaving Dacca. Complete censorship was facilitated when three prominent mass circulation daily newspapers were burned: The people, The Ittefaq, and the Sangbad. While Radio Pakistan continued to broadcast that life had returned to normal, we witnessed the daily movement of thousands of civilians fleeing the terrorized city.
In Gulshan, one of the suburbs of Dacca where we lived, we witnessed the disarming of the Last Pakistan Rifles stationed in the Children's Park across the street, the army looting the food supplies from the market nearly, and finally the execution of several EPR as they were forced by Punjabi soldiers onto a truck to be “taken away.” The mass execution of several thousands of Bengali policemen and the EPR is already documented. We also witnessed from a neighbor's house, army personnel fire three shots across Gulshan Lake at several little boys who were swimming. Almost every night there was sporadic gunfire near our home, adding to the fear of the 26 refugees staying with us.
It would be possible for me to chronicle many specific atrocities, but we have left close friends behind whose lives might be more endangered. It is clear that the law of the jungle