Forum seeks citizenship or resident permit for Taslima

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New Delhi, Feb 12 (UNI) Several prominent writers, journalists academicians and lawyers have urged the UPA government to grant the Indian citizenship or a resident's permit to controversial Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasreen to enable her to live and work freely in India.

They also sought dropping of ''spurious'' cases against renowned painter M F Hussain and he be allowed to return to the country.

''If the Indian government deports Taslima Nasreen, or holds her as an illegal alien, it will shame and diminish all of us,'' the Forum for the Protection of Free Speech and Expression said in a statement here.

''We demand that she be given a Resident's Permit or, if she has applied for it, Indian citizenship, and that she be allowed to live and work freely in India.

''We also demand that the spurious cases filed against M F Hussain be dropped and that he be allowed to return to a normal life in India,'' the Forum added.

It also sought immediate release of the journalists who were being ''illegally'' detained in prison against all principles of natural justice.

The signatories of the statement were Mahashweta Devi, Arundhati Roy, Ashish Nandy and Girish Karnad.

UNI AG MSJ RS1835

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