Tipu Sultan Mosque Imam serves fresh ultimatum against Taslima

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Kolkata, Dec 28 (UNI) The Shahi Imam of Tipu Sultan mosque today served a fresh ultimatum on Taslima Nasreen saying the self-exiled Bangladeshi writer would not be allowed to return Kolkata until she offered unqualified apology for blasphemous writings.

"The fatwa against the foreign writer is still on and any attempt by the Centre and West Bengal government to bring her back would be prevented at all cost" said the 60-year-old Imam, Nurul Rahman Barkati.

Today's threats came just three days after veteran Marxist and former chief minister Jyoti Basu offered her to come if she liked to return Kolkata provided the Centre gave her security.

The Banladeshi writer is now New Delhi with 24-hour security cover calls Kolkata her second home after she fled from Bangladesh a decade ago soon after a fatwa proclaimed for her controversial books.

" No security can ensure her safety if she was allowed to come here because she offended islamist sentiments" the Imam warned, amid thunderous applauses from many of his followers at a news conference at the Tipu Sultan mosque in the heart of the city.

All India Minority Forum president Idris Ali, who was also in the media conference after 26 days in jail for spearheading a violent agitation against Taslima last month, said if she offered an apology for defaming the Islam then " we can consider her request".

On this, the Imam said merely deleting three pages from the controversial book "Dwikhondito" would not serve the purspose as fatwa against her continued.

"She first has to offer apology then we would decide what next can be done", the religous leader said.

"She has to purify herself from sins for being balsphemous" adding the Imam said both the Cetnre and the state government should not call her here or else face "revolt from us".

" We want to be in the mainstream and we have no grudge against anyone unless someone hurt our religion and our preaching" the Imam, who dressed in traditonal costume and black-white bandana on the forehead, said.

Mr Idris Ali, whose first appearance before the media after spending 26 days jail since his arrest on November 23, said he was ready to be in the jail for another 26 years rather than allowing Taslima Nasreen to back in the city.

UNI

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