Left says no objection to extension of visa for Taslima

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New Delhi, Nov 28 (UNI) The CPI(M) today asserted that any Left constituent never objected to extension of visa to controversial Bangladeshi writer Tasleema Nasreen, saying that no party or state government was authorised to do the same.

''It is only the prerogative of the Centre to end or extend the visa or allow a foreign national to stay in a particular state with certain conditions,'' said senior CPI(M) leaders Basudeb Acahria and Mohammad Salim.

The Leftists' assertion comes close on the heels of the Congress statement that the West Bengal government had objected to the extension of Ms Nasreen's visa but the Centre had overruled it.

The CPI(M) leaders denied that the party or any Left constituent ever discussed the issue.

Addressing a news conference, the Left leaders also strongly refuted the fugitive Bangladeshi author's claim that she was driven out of Kolkata under police pressure, adding that the changed security scenario in the wake of the Hyderabad incident, where AIMIM activists attacked her at a function, had to be appreciated.

''The security perception at times changes or deteriorates as it happened recently in Kolkata when the extreme Left and the right forces collaborated to back fundamentalist forces to target the Marxists,'' Mr Salim said.

Mr Acharia categorically rejected the claim that the state police put any pressure on Ms Nasreen to leave Kolkata.

Mr Salim explained that the security scenario had changed altogether after the Hyderabad incident.

The Bangladeshi writer, shifted to an undisclosed location from the National Capital, has held certain top Kolkata police officials responsible for putting ''pressure'' on her finally making her leave the city on November 22.

Reacting to a specific query, the Left leaders said the state government called out the Army in central Kolkata as all the ''anti-CPI-M forces had joined hands to fuel and use the fundamentalist forces as the champions against the Marxists''.

Mr Salim complimented the people of the West Bengal capital, who, he said, had not allowed the fundamentalist forces to succeed in dividing society in the name of religion.

To another question that the West Bengal government shifted the controversial novelist under pressure, Mr Salim said ''It is not true.'' ''When Ms Nasreen was shifted from the National Capital by the Central intelligence agencies, was it under pressure from certain quarters?,'' he asked.


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