Taslima can return back to Kolkata, says Jyoti Basu

December 25th, 2007 - 8:16 pm ICT by admin  

Kolkata, Dec 25 (ANI): Former West Bengal Chief Minister and veteran CPI (M) leader Jyoti Basu on Tuesday said that Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasreen is ‘welcome’ to return back to Kolkata, whenever she wants.Taslima Nasreen
Basu said that the Centre should arrange security for the author’s stay in Kolkata.

“In accordance with the wishes of the Centre, she (Taslima Nasreen) is welcome to Kolkata. She can come and stay here, but the Centre has to provide her with security, which is very important,” Basu said.

This comes amidst reports that Taslima, who is presently kept in an undisclosed location in New Delhi, was informed by government officials that she would not be allowed to return to Kolkata for now.

However, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee later refuted this and he also denied reports that the controversial author was kept under house arrest and not allowed to talk to media.

After a protest led by some radical Muslim groups, demanding her ouster from Kolkata, turned violent in November this year, Taslima was moved out of the city and transferred to Jaipur. The Rajasthan Government also cited security problems regarding her stay in Jaipur and whisked away the author to Delhi.

She has equated her living in a secret secure facility in the national capital with “solitary confinement.”

Her fate has become a hot political issue for New Delhi as the opposition BJP has accused the government of pandering to Muslim minorities by trying to get her out of the country.

New Delhi has said it will continue to host and protect the writer, but indicated she would have to avoid political activities and actions that might hurt India’s relations with its friendly neighbours.

She has already made her wish to return to a “normal life” in Kolkata, but the Left Front government in the State is seen reluctant to it.

The author’s visa is due to expire in February and New Delhi will have to decide on its extension. (ANI)

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