We give shelter to anybody who seeks it: Mukherjee

August 9th, 2008 - 8:15 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Taslima Nasreen

Kolkata, Aug 9 (IANS) It is the duty of the government to give shelter to every guest of the country, said External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee Saturday here, while referring to Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen, who left India in March, returned to New Delhi Friday and was immediately shifted to a safe house. Speaking on the sidelines of an award ceremony of Engineering Export Promotion Council (EEPC), Mukherjee said: “Our tradition is to give shelter to anybody who seeks shelter. But at the same time we expect from our guests that they will not do anything which will cause any problem to any of our citizens or our countrymen and there will be no problem because of his stay in this country.”

However, he could not confirm whether Taslima would return to Kolkata.

Taslima was asked to leave Kolkata in November 2007, following massive protests over her stay in India and previous writings that criticise Islam and its treatment of women.

He said: “I have no knowledge when she will come. It is not possible for an external affairs minister of a country to keep the track of the movement of any individual who is our guest.”

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