INTRODUCTION: For the second time in a year, fire has damaged a refugee camp in Dacca, the capital of Bangladesh.
TV PAN Burnt-out huts ZOOM IN TO charred remains of hut.
TV ZOOM INTO wrecked rood of hut and people removing corrugated sheeting from roofs. (2 SHOTS)
SV Homeless family sitting among ruins.
SV People putting up tents.
CU Women searching among ruins ZOOM IN TO people rebuilding huts.
The Biharis were so named because they originally came from the Indian state of Bihar. At the time of partition in 1947, they moved to the then East Pakistan, to escape fueding with the Hindu majority in Bihar. During the Indo-Pakistan war which led to the creation of Bangladesh, most of the Biharis sided with Pakistan, and later suffered savage reprisals from the Bengali majority. It was then the newly-formed Bangladesh Government put them into refugee camps, saying they would have been slaughtered otherwise. Since the war, about 100,000 Biharis have travelled to Islamabad, mostly those who were wealthy or had technical skills, and additional small groups have been occasionally accepted.
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Background: INTRODUCTION: For the second time in a year, fire has damaged a refugee camp in Dacca, the capital of Bangladesh. Flames raced through a shanty town housing non-Bengali Moslems, known as the Biharis, rendering nearly five thousand of them homeless. The refugees have now begun the laborious task of re-building the tin shacks that make up their homes.
SYNOPSIS: It is cold at this time of the year in Bangladesh, and many refugees have been living in the open since the fire. They believe it was started deliberately to force them from the area.
Last year, two children were killed when fires broke out in the camp. There were no deaths this time, but the consequences of the fire have added to the misery of the refugees.
There are three million Biharis in Bangladesh, many of them in refugee camps like this. Most of them sided with Pakistan during the war with India in 1971, and now want to live in Pakistan. Nut Islamabad has said they do not quality for citizenship. Many Biharis have been refugee camps for nearly ten years.