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Women's group condemns threat

By Our Staff Correspondent

NEW DELHI, JAN. 19. The All-India Democratic Women's Association (AIDWA) has condemned the "highly provocative and objectionable" statements by some fundamentalist forces in Kolkata against the controversial Bangladeshi author, Taslima Nasrin, asking her to leave the city.

In a press release issued here today, the AIDWA general secretary, Brinda Karat, said the threats could not be tolerated in a democratic society. The fundamentalists had gone so far as to demand that the West Bengal Government withdraw the security provided for the author, she said adding that whether one agreed with Ms Nasrin or not, she had every right to visit Kolkata. "It is those who incite violence who are on the wrong side of the law and against whom appropriate measures should be taken if they do not desist from making such statements," Ms. Karat said.

The Shahi Imam of the Tipu Sultan mosque at Kolkata had issued a fatwa against Ms. Nasrin and announced an award of Rs. 20,000 to anyone who "tarred her face or is able to make her wear a garland of footwear." The Imam had also asked the author of `Dwinkhandita' to leave the city immediately.

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