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“Kolkata is my home”

Marcus Dam

I am desperate to go back: Taslima



Taslima Nasreen

KOLKATA: “I am seeing each day through, dreaming the dream of going back to West Bengal and Kolkata. Kolkata is my home and I’m desperate to be back,” Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasreen, told The Hindu from Delhi over phone on Sunday.

Ms. Nasreen left the city for Jaipur on Thursday and, after spending the night in a hotel there, arrived in Delhi the following day amid tight security. She said that “what keeps her going is the hope that she will return to Kolkata at the earliest.”

“I want to go back to the city and start my life there afresh, returning to my writing. I am missing home intensely,” a distraught Ms. Nasreen said.

Ms. Nasreen had been advised to leave Kolkata on grounds of security in the wake of the outbreak of violence here on November 21 triggered off by protests spearheaded by the All India Minority Forum (AIMF) demanding that her visa be revoked. Her visa expires on February 17, 2008.

The past few days have left the controversial author shaken. She believes that the Centre has taken over the responsibility of her security after she was brought to Delhi from Rajasthan under cover by the Rajasthan police.

But despite the strain evident in her voice, Ms. Nasreen had words of gratitude for the people of the country.

“I am thankful to all the people of this country, who have been supporting and empathising with me and for providing me their solidarity,” she said. “I am also thankful to all the concerned for providing me the security over the past few days,” she added.

The West Bengal government has said that “Ms. Nasreen is free to return to the city if she so wishes.”

The State’s Home Secretary, Prasad Ranjan Ray, said here on Saturday that she could come back if she wanted. All the necessary arrangements for her security were in place.

Idris Ali remanded

President of the AIMF, Idris Ali, who was arrested here on Saturday in connection with the violence was remanded to police custody till November 29 after being produced in two city courts during the day.

Mr. Ali has been charged with cases pertaining to attempt to murder, rioting and causing damage to public property. A group of his supporters, who had gathered outside the Bankshal Court, shouted slogans demanding his release.

A huge procession, organised by the Kolkata district committee of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), was taken out in support of communal harmony and in protest against forces trying to undermine it.

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