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Last Updated: Thursday, 1 September 2005, 15:00 GMT 16:00 UK
Taslima Nasreen gets Indian visa
By Subir Bhaumik
BBC News, Calcutta

Taslima Nasreen
Ms Nasreen has got a year long Indian visa
Controversial Bangladeshi feminist writer Taslima Nasreen has got a year long Indian visa and permission to stay in Calcutta.

She had applied for an Indian tourist visa in June this year.

In May she left Calcutta for Europe and the US unsure if she would be allowed back into India.

The writer left Bangladesh for Sweden in 1994 amid calls for her execution, but has lived in Calcutta recently, where she wants to settle down.

'Citizenship'

Ms Nasreen had requested the Indian government earlier for a long term residential permit or Indian citizenship.

"The Indian government has not granted me citizenship or a permanent residential permit to stay in Calcutta as I wished but they have given me a one year entry visa."

She says she wants to make Calcutta her home even though the European Union has offered her refuge.

"For a while, the Indian government did not respond and I was getting worried. But now I can stay in Calcutta without any hassle for a year."

Muslims stage anti Taslima Nasreen protest in Calcutta, March 2005
Ms Nasreen's detractors in India wants her to leave the country

But the communist government in the Indian state of West Bengal has said her presence in the state could have an adverse impact on the local law and order situation.

The government said orthodox Muslims are opposed to her stay in Calcutta, the capital of West Bengal.

Earlier this year, she was prevented by the police from attending a convention in the state's Midnapore town following a demonstration by some Muslim radicals.

'Ban'

A friend of Ms Nasreen, Sujato Bhadro, who is also a leading human rights activist in West Bengal, is working with her lawyer to contest a ban imposed on her latest book 'Dwikhondito' (Split into Two) by the state government.

Several Indian authors and intellectuals have come out in support of the Bangaldeshi writer and said the government must grant her citizenship.

The author fled Bangladesh in 1994 after receiving death threats from radical Muslim groups who condemned a number of her writings as blasphemous.

Ms Nasreen rose to prominence in 1993 after her first book, Shame, ran into problems.

She fled Bangladesh shortly afterwards, following calls for her execution by Islamic radicals.

They were incensed at comments she is said to have made to an Indian newspaper calling for changes in the Koran to give women more rights. Ms Nasreen denies making the remarks.



SEE ALSO:
Writers support Taslima Nasreen
07 Apr 05 |  South Asia
Effigies of writer burned
21 Jan 04 |  South Asia
Bangladesh court sentences Taslima
13 Oct 02 |  South Asia
Bangladesh bans third Taslima book
27 Aug 02 |  South Asia


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