Nasreen arrives in India; whisked away to unknown destination

Nasreen arrives in India; whisked away to unknown destination

Taslima Nasreen

The 46-year-old Bangladeshi writer, who has been a target of Islamic fundamentalists, arrived at the Indira Gandhi International airport in the morning from a European country and was immediately whisked away by security agencies to an undisclosed destination, official sources said.

The future plans of the doctor-turned writer, who shot to fame with her controversial book "Lajja", were not immediately known.

Her visa is valid till August 17. She has been requesting for permanent residentship in the country, but the government has not taken any decision on the issue.

Taslima had left India on March 18 last year for Sweden after she was kept in a safe house in the national capital for more than four months. Taslima, who had not been allowed to see any visitors during the period, had described her confinement as living in "a chamber of death".

The papers for extending visa of Taslima, who will celebrate her 47th birthday on August 25, had been moved and the nod for the extension was likely to be given by the government soon, sources said. The sources said they were awaiting Government's order over the future course of action. She had come in February earlier this year but was asked to leave immediately after visa was granted to her till August 17 because of the general elections in the country.

The author has not been pressing for visiting her residence in Kolkata this time as she was skeptical of Left parties' response to her arrival, they said.

Taslima has lived in exile in many countries including France, Sweden and India since 1994. During her stay in India in the last five years, she has periodically travelled abroad with the last trip being in November 2007 when she was asked to leave West Bengal.

Recipient of various awards, Taslima was shifted from her Kolkata residence after violent protests marred parts of the metropolis over her controversial book "Dwihondito" (divided into two).

Certain references in the book had stirred a storm with some Muslim organisations demanding that she be asked to leave the state.

Taslima was packed off from Kolkata and shifted to Jaipur. The Rajasthan government decided to shift her to Delhi after some Muslim organisations threatened state-wide protests against her stay there.

Despite the writer's wish to return to Kolkata, the Left Front government in West Bengal did not pay any heed to her request.

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 even change her clothes.

A Swedish passport holder, Taslima flew to Sweden from Delhi on March 18 last year and was admitted to hospital following health problems.

DH Newsletter Privacy Policy Get top news in your inbox daily