Will return to India when I feel safe: Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen

  • None, Delhi/Kolkata
  • Updated: Jun 03, 2015 14:40 IST

Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen, who relocated to the United States after receiving death threats from radical Islamists, said on Wednesday she has not left India permanently and will return when she felt safe.

“Was threatened by Islamists who killed atheist bloggers in B’desh. Worried,” Nasreen, 52, tweeted. “Will be back when feel safe.”

Nasreen said she had asked for a meeting with Union home minister Rajnath Singh after receiving death threats but had received no response.

“I often go to USA. To give lectures & to see my family. I havn’t left India permanently. Indian govt always provides security,”she said in another tweet.

Nasreen’s relocation came weeks after masked attackers hacked secular blogger Ananta Bijoy Das to death in Bangladesh, the third such deadly attack by suspected Islamists since February.

Das had written a poem eulogising Nasreen, who left the Muslim-majority country after she was accused of blasphemy over her novel ‘Lajja’ (Shame), which depicts the persecution of a Hindu family.

After leaving Bangladesh, Nasreen spent a decade in Europe and the US before India granted her a temporary residential permit in 2004.

Bangladesh is an officially secular country but more than 90 percent of its 160 million population are Muslims.

The country has seen a rise in attacks by religious extremists in recent years.

Since 2013 at least five bloggers have been attacked by Islamists after a hardline group, Hefazat-e-Islam, publicly sought the execution of atheists who organised mass protests against the rise of political Islam.

The gynaecologist-turned-author holds Swedish citizenship but she has long been seeking permanent residence in India, which she describes as her “cultural home”.

New York-based advocacy group Center for Inquiry had said on Tuesday they had helped her relocate from India.

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