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Sahmat decries ouster

Left leaning cultural organisation Sahmat has condemned the “externment”of writer Taslima Nasreen from Kolkata following violent protests and rioting by Muslim fundamentalists.

india Updated: Nov 25, 2007 03:56 IST

Left leaning cultural organisation Sahmat has condemned the “externment”of writer Taslima Nasreen from Kolkata following violent protests and rioting by Muslim fundamentalists.

“We strongly protest the recent rioting in Kolkata by Muslim fundamentalists and other forces against the Bangaldesh writer Taslima Nasreen and her subsequent “externment” from that city”, Sahmat said in a statement signed by more than 50 intellectuals. “We are convinced that an enlightened and democratic state should have the capacity to ensure the right of liberty and freedom of speech to all individuals, especially artists, writers, musicians and filmmakers,” the Leftist cultural group said.

The statement, which has been signed among others by lawyer Rajeev Dhavan, economist Prabhat Patnaik, writer Rajinder Yadav, political scientist Javeed Alam and artist Ram Rahman, was also critical of the West Bengal government saying, “..It still remains a matter of great anxiety that Ms Nasrin left Kolkata for Jaipur and now New Delhi”.