Centre to take charge of Taslima's security
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Centre to take charge of Taslima's security

The decision comes barely hours after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh chaired a meeting of the Union Cabinet.

india Updated: Nov 27, 2007 16:59 IST

After being hounded out of Kolkata and Jaipur, controversial Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen was shifted to an undisclosed location late on Monday night, minutes after the Centre decided to take charge of her security.

The sleuths of the central security agency arrived at the Rajasthan House here well past midnight and whisked away the 45-year-old writer to a "safe place", official sources said.

The decision to take control of her security came barely hours after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh chaired a meeting of the Union Cabinet.

Though the issue of Nasreen was not in the agenda, sources in the Government said it was discussed informally after which a decision in this regard is believed to have been taken.

Nasreen, who holds a resident visa valid till February 17, 2008, has been kept at a "safe place" and away from media glare, the sources added.

While being on the transit, the writer, who came to the city on November 23, spoke to some of her friends about the Centre's decision to take care of her security.

The Union Home Ministry has stated that as long as the writer holds a valid Indian passport, "she should be given appropriate security wherever she is. If necessary, the Home Ministry will speak to the concerned state governments to ensure this".

After violent protests marred parts of Kolkata on last Wednesday seeking her expulsion, Nasreen was packed off from her residence in the metropolis and shifted to Jaipur, much to the surprise of the Vasundhara Raje government in Rajasthan, which got the information only after she was put on a flight to the Pink City.

Despite wishing to return to Kolkata, the Left Front government in West Bengal refused to welcome her. Later, the Rajasthan government had to send her to the national capital fearing communal tension as some Muslim organisations in Jaipur had threatened to launch an agitation for her ouster.

The Bangladeshi author had said that she was "forced" to depart from Kolkata at such a short notice that she did not have time to change her clothes. "I was forced to leave Kolkata and had to leave in the clothes I was wearing. You can well understand from this how quickly I was made to shift".

The CPI(M) came under increasing attack on the Nasreen issue, with major national parties demanding protection and extending the visa of the Bangladeshi writer.

Main opposition, BJP, has also raised objections over the silence of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi over the issue.

First Published: Nov 27, 2007 09:47 IST