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Poll 'forces' Taslima out

Poll 'forces' Taslima out

Author: Bureau and PTI
Publication: The Telegraph
Date: March 30 , 2009
URL: http://www.telegraphindia.com/1090330/jsp/nation/story_10744653.jsp

Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen had returned to India recently before being sent out again though she was granted a visa extension.

The 46-year-old controversial writer, who has been a target of Islamic fundamentalists and was bundled out of Bengal in November 2007, arrived in Delhi last month to apply for the visa extension along with an appeal for a permanent residentship.

She was immediately whisked away to an undisclosed destination, sources said.

Taslima's signature was needed to process papers for the visa extension. Her visa had been earlier valid till February 17. Her passport also had to be submitted. She's had someone processing her visa extension a couple of times, but this time she wanted to follow it up herself.

The doctor-turned-writer, who had to leave Bangladesh after her controversial book Lajja was published, also wanted to stay and complete the formalities for a resident permit. But she was reportedly told the request for permanent residentship would be taken up by the new government, and that she should not return to the country before May 31 because of the general election.

Her visa has been extended by another six months till August 16.

Taslima is now in New York with her sister Yasmin. She was suffering from acute depression after losing her brother Kamal who committed suicide at the end of last year.

The author had left India on March 18 last year for Sweden after she was kept in a safe house in Delhi for more than four months. Not allowed visitors, she described her stay in the safe house as living in "a chamber of death".

Taslima, who holds a Swedish passport, has lived in exile in many countries, including France, Sweden and India, since 1994.

During her stay in India in the past five years, she has travelled abroad several times with the last trip being in November 2007 before she was asked to leave Bengal.

Taslima was shifted from her Calcutta residence to Jaipur after violent protests in the city over her controversial book Dwikhondito. The Rajasthan government decided to move her to Delhi after some organisations unhappy with her book threatened state-wide protests against her stay.

Despite the writer's wish to return to Calcutta, the Left Front government in Bengal did not accept her request.

Taslima had alleged she was "forced" to depart from Calcutta at such a short notice that she did not even have time to change her clothes.

The CPM came under attack, with major national parties demanding protection and extension of her visa.

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