Controversial Bangladesh writer Taslima Nasreen was kept as a hostage long before violence broke out on the streets of Kolkata. “I was kept as a hostage in my house ever since I returned to city from Hyderabad on August 9,” Taslima told HT on Friday evening.
Taslima said that soon after she landed in Kolkata in August, the state government began mounting pressure on her. The pressures increased soon after state Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee held a meeting with Imams at Writers’ Building in September.
Recounting the ordeal, she said she was not allowed to move out of her house. “The only time I was allowed to move out was in the last week of October when they came to know that I would visit Aviana Travel Agency near the Exide crossing to purchase air tickets. They (securitymen) accompanied me to the travel agency. The next time I was allowed to move out was on November 2 when I boarded the flight to Taiwan,” she said. She had gone to Taiwan to inaugurate a poetry festival.
At a meeting with Taslima in the last week of September, former police commissioner Prasun Mukherjee told her that the state government was worried about her security and would make arrangements to move her out of the state secretly. After Mukherjee left, Nasreen called up her close friends for advice. Mukherjee told HT that whatever he did was on the instruction of the state government.
After failing to secure Taaslima’s nod for the proposed shift to Kerala in September, the state government once again prodded her to leave West Bengal in the first week of November.