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Last Updated: Thursday, 17 March, 2005, 18:05 GMT
Bengal denial on Taslima Nasreen
Taslima Nasreen
Ms Nasreen faced death threats in her homeland
India's West Bengal state government says it has had no contact with Delhi about granting a controversial Bangladeshi writer Indian citizenship.

An unnamed state official had earlier told the BBC that the presence of the author, Taslima Nasreen, in Calcutta could stir up religious tensions.

West Bengal authorities had shared this fear with central government, he said.

But state Home Secretary Amit Kiran Deb said: "The government of India has not even asked us for our comments."

We don't know whether she has applied for citizenship - we only know it from the papers
West Bengal Home Secretary Amit Kiran Deb

He told the BBC he had no idea whether Ms Nasreen had even applied for Indian citizenship.

Any decision on residence or citizenship would be made directly by government in Delhi, which may as part of the process consult the state government at some point, he said.

But he added that it had not done so in her case.

Visitor's visa

Taslima Nasreen fled her native country after Islamic radicals alleged her writing was blasphemous.

She is currently living in Calcutta on a visitor's visa and has said she wants to make the city her home.

Ms Nasreen, a doctor-turned-writer, rose to prominence in 1993 after her first book, Shame, ran into problems.

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

Islamic radicals 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:
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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