Advani supports Taslima's case; asks Centre to issue her visa

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New Delhi, Jan 31: Leader of the Opposition L K Advani today expressed shock and outrage about reports that the noted Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen was under ''virtual house arrest'' and blamed the Centre and the CPI(M) government in West Bengal for her plight.

Both the Congress and the CPI (M) were guilty of practising the most perverse kind of politics of vote bank and appeasement of religious extremism, Mr Advani said here after releasing a book ''Secular Politics Communal Agenda''. He said he had heard from reliable sources that the government was pressurising Ms Nasreen to leave India and go to the country of her choice. The distraught writer on the other hand was pleading for permanent resident status in India, Mr Advani added.

He said it was ironic that the Congress-Communist combine which had ''actively colluded'' in the influx of 1,20,53,950 illegal Bangladeshi migrants (as on 31 December 2001) in the states of Assam, West Bengal and other parts of the country, could not protect a single hapless woman, a ''victim of religious persecution'' in her own country, whereas infiltrators had not only been given shelter but also ration cards and voting rights.

''It is out of love for their votes that the Congress and the Communists had been stoutly resisting the demand for repeal of the Illegal Migrants Determination by Tribunal (IMDT) Act. Ultimately, on 15 July 2004, the Supreme Court had to strike it down as unconstitutional with a stinging censure of the Central government'', Mr Advani said.

The BJP leader also demanded that the Bangladeshi writer should be allowed to lead a normal life in West Bengal with freedom of movement and the Centre and state governments should ensure her security.

Religious extremists, who might harm her, have to be dealt appropriately in conformity with the law of the land and there should be no delay in extending her visa to enable her to continue to live in India, Mr Advani said.


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