Friday, September 25, 1998 Published at 15:09 GMT 16:09 UK
World: South Asia
Bangladesh police hunt feminist writer
Taslima Nasreen fled her country four years ago after blasphemy allegations
Police in Bangladesh are searching for the controversial feminist writer, Taslima Nasreen, after a court in the capital, Dhaka, issued a warrant for her arrest on charges of blasphemy.
She has not been seen in public since her arrival.
Religious feelings hurt
The petition was first filed in 1994 by a devout Muslim, Zainal Abedin Babul.
He claimed her book "Nirbachito Kolum" (Selected Columns) had insulted Islam and hurt his religious feelings.
Miss Nasreen was charged with offending religious sentiment in a newspaper interview she gave after the publication of her novel "Lajja" (Shame), which dealt with communal tensions between Hindus and Muslims - and has been banned in Bangladesh.
An Indian newspaper quoted her as having said that the Koran should be revised to take into account women's' rights.
But Miss Nasreen has denied making such remarks.
Several Muslim fundamentalist groups rallied again in the capital, Dhaka, on Friday, protesting against Miss Nasreen.
On Tuesday Muslim groups had again staged protests demanding Taslima Nasreen be tried for blasphemy and hanged.
An non-issued fatwa
Taslima Nasreen, a doctor, writer and women's' rights activist, left Bangladesh secretly in 1994 for Sweden.
She later visited France, Germany and Britain before moving to the United States.
Her sympathisers in the West compare her position with that of the British novelist, Salman Rushdie, against whom Iran issued a fatwa.