CPI-M forced Taslima out of Kolkata: BJP


New Delhi : Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasreen was forced out of Kolkata by the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M)-led government of West Bengal, a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader alleged Saturday.

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The BJP leader, who did not want to be named, said that Nasreen had informed the party leaders that West Bengal’s Left Front government had been building pressure on her since August to leave Kolkata as well as India.

The controversial author, staying in India after being forced out of Bangladesh, left Kolkata where a section of the Muslim community had protested against her Wednesday. She reached Jaipur Thursday and arrived in New Delhi Saturday.

According to the BJP leader, the All India Minorities Front (AIMF) had burnt her effigies in Kolkata on Nov 15 and threatened her, but Kolkata Police allegedly reduced her security instead of increasing it.

He alleged that on Nov 20, a senior police officer met her and speaking on behalf of West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya asked her to leave Kolkata, adding that if she failed to do so, the police might not be in a position to provide security to her.

The BJP leader said Nasreen told the party’s leaders that on Thursday police approached her with two air tickets for Jaipur and rushed her to the airport.

The Rajasthan police received her in Jaipur and took her to a hotel. “But she herself demanded that she wanted to return to Kolkata. So we bought her two tickets for Kolkata for Nov 23,” said the BJP leader, adding: “But Kolkata Police refused to provide her any protection.

“Then we asked her where would she like to go and she said ‘I would like to go to Delhi.’ So a senior police officer and the state’s secretary (public relations) accompanied her here and lodged her in the Rajasthan House.”

The BJP leader said that Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje had talked to Nasreen.

He alleged that the central government was now pressurizing her to leave the country at least temporarily.

BJP spokesman Prakash Javadekar said, “The Taslima Nasreen affair has exposed the secular and pro-women claims made by the CPI-M. They failed to provide security to her and then forcibly evicted her from Kolkata. This is the worst kind of secularism practised by the CPI-M.”