MHA refuse comment on Taslima asked to stay in Delhi or leave

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New Delhi, Dec 20 (UNI) The Union Home Ministry today refused to confirm media reports that controversial Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasreen, living at an undisclosed address under state protection, has been told that she could either continue to stay in the Capital or leave the country.

Home Minister Shivraj Patil refused to comment about the reports that the 45-year-old writer has been asked to stay in New Delhi and is not being allowed to return to Kolkata.

''We cannot comment on media reports. We were busy in the Internal Security Meet here,'' Ministry officials said.

According to reports, Ms Nasreen, who has been virtually on the run since November when she was forced to leave Kolkata following violent protests by a radical Muslim group demanding her ouster from India, was conveyed the decision today.

It had quoted intelligence sources saying that the West Bengal government had refused to have Ms Nasreen back while she was insisting on her return there. Given the circumstances, she had been told that Delhi was the only place she could stay or she could exercise the option of leaving India.

Shuttling first between Jaipur and then Delhi, Nasreen has been staying temporarily in a 'safe house' within the National Security Guards complex for the last three weeks.

Unhappy over her dislocation from Kolkata, her adopted home, Nasreen, has been constantly "badgering" Home Ministry officials to take her back where she has been staying for the last three years.

"I dream of walking around freely in Kolkata. I want to go back, it is my home. I think fundamentalist forces cannot afford to dictate terms," Nasreen said a month back from the safe house she was put up.

On November 30 Nasreen had even agreed to expunge the controversial portions from her biography "Dwidhandita" (Split in Two) that triggered the riots in Kolkata.

However, news channels quoting Nasreen said she might consider leaving India. "Given a choice, I will prefer to leave India," she said.


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