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'Centre ready to help West Bengal Govt'

Pranab Mukherjee says the Centre will help the State Govt in providing security for the Bangladeshi writer if she moves to Kolkata.

india Updated: Dec 27, 2007 17:52 IST

The Centre is ready to assist West Bengal government in providing security for Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen, who has expressed her desire to return to Kolkata, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee said on Wednesday

Mukherjee said Taslima is currently being provided security by the Union Government as she was staying in New Delhi where the powers of law and order vests with the Centre.

"So far as states are concerned, it's the primary responsibility of states to provide security," he said on the sidelines of a function in Bangalore.

"But if state government wants any assistance from the Centre in respect of that, we will be too glad to provide that," he said.

Mukherjee was responding to questions from the media about the remarks made by veteran Marxist leader Jyoti Basu stating that Taslima can return to Kolkata if she chooses to, but the Centre has to ensure her security.