Home Secretary denies government's role in shifting Taslima

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Kolkata, Nov 23 (UNI) Denying that the administration had asked Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen to move out of Kolkata, Home Secretary Prasad Ranjan Roy today said the state government had no role in it.

"We have not sent her. I did not have any knowledge of her departure. She is a free person and can go anywhere she likes," Mr.Roy told reporters.

The Home Secretary said the state government had provided Ms.Nasreen security. But it had nothing to do if she wanted to move out somewhere.

"We do not have any objection if she choses to go somewhere, nor do we have any if she comes back," he said.

Ms.Nasreen quietly arrived Jaipur yesterday before moving to Delhi today following the large scale violence Kolkata witnessed on Wednesday last over the demand for cancellation of her visa and her deportation from the country allegedly for defaming the prophet of Islam.

The visa of the self-exiled Bangladeshi writer, who had been living in the city since 2004 was scheduled to expire in February next year. Her appeal for granting Indian citizenship has been pending with the Union Home Ministry.

A three-hour shutdown programme, organised by a non-descript organisation on Wednesday to press for her ouster, suddently burst into violence and assumed a grave magnitude prompting the administration to call the army and impose night curfew.

According to reports, not officially confirmed by the authorities, Ms.Nasreen was advised through a police officer to move away from the city and all arrangements were made for her air journey. She reached Jaipur at 1830 hrs and put up in a guest house.

Yesterday, either Ms.Nasreen did not answer calls to her mobile or she could not be reached.

While admitting that the Bangladeshi author was not in the city, Police Commissioner Gautam Mohan Chakraborty also denied that police had shifted her.

He said it was not the job of police to shift anybody and Ms.Nasreen might have gone somewhere as she often did in the past.

However, pushed to the corner after the Nandigram incidents and the Rizwanur episode, the CPI(M) had said on Wednesday that the Bangladeshi writer should leave the state if her presence caused breach of peace.

Also, putting the ball in the Centre's court, the party's state Committee Secretary Biman Basu said the state government had no power in granting or cancelling anybody's visa and it was up to the Union government to take a decision on Ms.Nasreen's stay in the country.

Coming out in support of Ms Nasreen, noted writer and Sahitya Akademi award winner Sunil Gangopadhyay, theatre personalities Usha Ganguly and Rudra Prasad Sengupta, poet Subodh Sarkar, novelist Suchitra Bhattacharyay and others deplored the demand for her deportation.

UNI

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