Taslima appeals to government to allow her to stay | india | Hindustan Times
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Taslima appeals to government to allow her to stay

The Bangladeshi writer also asserts that she would leave India if she is stopped from returning to Kolkata.

india Updated: Dec 21, 2007 23:15 IST

A day after the government told Taslima Nasreen that she could either continue to stay in the national capital confined or leave the country, the controversial Bangladeshi writer appealed to the government to "change its mind".

Nasreen, who is living amid tight security in a safe house here, told NDTV: "I appeal to the government to change its mind."

She also asserted that she would leave India if she is stopped from returning to Kolkata, which she considers her home.

Meanwhile, reacting to the 45-year-old writer's complaint that she was being treated like a virtual "prisoner" and being barred from meeting people, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee said: "I have clearly spelt out the policy of government of India in respect of those who come for taking shelter."

"If she has any difficulties she should talk to those people who are dealing with the issue and they will remove these difficulties," he said.

On Thursday, after getting the government's communication, a teary Taslima had told IANS: "What have I done? Am I a criminal? Have I committed any crime? I cannot go back to Bangladesh they know. Now they want me to stay like a prisoner in a room without being able to meet anyone."

"One Mr Amit Dasgupta from the Indian government met me recently and told me the government decision. I was asking when I could return to Kolkata because it is just impossible to live like this in a room. He told me I would not be allowed outdoor, nor visit anybody or be allowed to receive any visitor if I am to stay in India," Nasreen said.

"Can you tell me what do they want?" she asked, her voice breaking down with every word.

"He clearly told me that I would not be allowed a normal life in India. This amounts to asking me to leave India," she said.

"I still want to live in India and go back to Kolkata," she said.

The writer, who has been virtually on the run since November when she was forced to leave Kolkata following violent protests by radical Muslims demanding her ouster from India, was told of the government decision on Thursday.

After unprecedented violence in Kolkata by a section of the city's Muslim community, who were demanding her ouster from India, the 45-year-old writer was shifted to Jaipur on Nov 22 and then to New Delhi in secrecy and under heavy security.

The Intelligence Bureau is keeping Nasreen in a 'safe house' within a National Security Guards complex in New Delhi.

"The West Bengal government has refused to have her back and she has been insisting on her return there. Given the circumstances, we told her that Delhi was the only place she could stay or she could exercise the option of leaving India," a top intelligence official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told IANS.

On Nov 30, Nasreen even agreed to expunge the controversial portions from her biography "Dwikhandita" (Split in Two) that triggered the riots in Kolkata.

However, West Bengal 's ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) washed its hands of the matter saying the Bangladeshi writer moved out on her own and it was for the government to decide where she should stay.

"The question of where she will live, I again repeat, is a decision that the Centre alone can take. No state government is involved in it or can be involved in it according to our constitution," said Sitaram Yechury, Politburo Member, CPI(M).