Taslima leaves India for medical treatment abroad

March 19th, 2008 - 8:54 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Taslima Nasreen

Kolkata, March 19 (IANS) Controversial Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen Wednesday left India for medical treatment abroad. “I am at Heathrow airport now, waiting for a connecting flight,” Nasreen told a friend in Kolkata from London but it was not yet clear where she was heading to from London.

Sources said she left New Delhi Wednesday morning.

“I can’t take it any more. I will die if I continue to live like this,” Nasreen said Monday in a choked voice as she announced her decision to leave India for medical treatment abroad.

“I am losing my eyesight, my heart is damaged. I have to survive. I am dying like this. I have to immediately get good treatment because I am not even getting cardiologists here,” she said from her undisclosed address in New Delhi where she was sheltered by the government from fundamentalists.

The author, facing protests, was kept incognito for nearly four months in a place near New Delhi. Security restrictions were imposed on her movement even in Kolkata before she was forced out of the city last year following violent protests.

She was living virtually in a house arrest and was not allowed to receive visitors.

India’s external affairs ministry in mid-February extended her visa but restrictions on her movements continued as she was kept confined in a “safe house” in New Delhi by the government since she was shunted out of Kolkata Nov 21 last year.

“I want to come back to Kolkata - my home - if I am allowed and not put in prison like this again. Right now my only concern is to live and get proper medical attention,” said Nasreen. She recently spent a few days in a New Delhi hospital.

“Stress and hypertension is killing me. There is already a big damage to my heart. I need to save the rest,” she said.

“My world is in Kolkata. I have not been allowed to visit the city and collect my own belongings. I hope my friends in Kolkata would help me since I am not allowed to go there,” she said.

Nasreen was shunted out of Kolkata after street violence broke out over her stay in India and her anti-Islamic writings.

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