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Last Updated: Wednesday, 28 November 2007, 17:12 GMT
India promises to protect writer
Taslima Nasreen
Ms Nasreen faced death threats in Bangladesh
The Indian government has pledged to continue to host and protect controversial Bangladeshi feminist writer Taslima Nasreen.

But External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee told parliament that India expected its guest to behave as one.

Ms Nasreen has been moved from one city to another in the last few days for her own safety after violent protests against her by Muslims in Calcutta.

She is now lodged in a safe house in the capital, Delhi.

'No politics'

Mr Mukherjee said it was government policy to look after the country's guests and India would continue to "provide shelter" to Ms Nasreen.

But he added: "Those who have been granted shelter here have always undertaken to eschew political activities in India or any actions which may harm India's relations with friendly countries.

Soldiers on Calcutta's streets
Soldiers were called out on to the streets of Calcutta last Wednesday

"It is also expected that the guests will refrain from activities and expressions that may hurt the sentiments of our people."

Last Wednesday, police in Calcutta used tear gas and baton charges to control crowds calling for Ms Nasreen's Indian visa to be cancelled.

Rioters blocked roads and set cars alight. At least 43 people were hurt. More than 100 arrests were made.

Critics accused the writer of calling for the Koran to be changed to give women greater rights, something she denies.

Ms Nasreen fled Bangladesh in the early 1990s after death threats and has spent the last three years in Calcutta after a long stay in Europe.

Last week, after the riots, Ms Nasreen was flown out of Calcutta in a special plane to Delhi from where she was taken to Jaipur in the western state of Rajasthan.

She spent Thursday night at a hotel in Jaipur under heavy security.

A day later, she was brought to Delhi where she spent a couple of nights in the Rajasthan government's guest house.

'Sentiments hurt'

On Tuesday, she was moved again, this time to a safe house at an undisclosed location in Delhi.

Taslima Nasreen's Indian visa is valid until March 2008.

Last week's trouble in Calcutta began after the predominantly Muslim All-India Minority Forum called for blockades on major roads in the city.

The group said Ms Nasreen had "seriously hurt Muslim sentiments". Many Muslims say her writing ridicules Islam.

The army was called out and a night curfew imposed.

The All-India Minority Forum says Taslima Nasreen's Indian visa should be revoked and she should be forced to leave the country.

In August this year, she was giving a lecture in the southern city of Hyderabad when she was attacked by Muslims who said they had been upset by her remarks on the Prophet Muhammad and the Koran.



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