Close on the heels of the Centre's reported diktat to Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen against returning here from Delhi, External Affairs Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday denied outright the suggestion that she was under house arrest.
Asked by reporters of possible restrictions on her return to Kolkata from Delhi where she was presently lodged at an undisclosed location, Mukherjee said, "whether she will come to Kolkata or go to Chennai ... She is not under house arrest."
The government's policy was to make all appropriate arrangements for the safe and secure stay of a guest, he said.
Mukherjee's comment came two days after Nasreen told PTI that she had been informed by government officials that she would not be allowed to return to Kolkata for now.
Asked what advice had been given to her by the Centre, he said, "We have communicated to her that she can stay in the country as long as she wants, which is our rule here."
Stating that he had already made a statement in Parliament on the matter, he said, "The government's policy is that we never send a guest. If any guest wants to stay, we make all arrangements for it. I had said at the same time that our guest should not do anything that may hurt the sentiments of any segment of the population in the country."