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Taslima Nasreen moves to US after death threats from radicals

PTI 02 Jun 2015, 23:42:41 IST
PTI

New York: Controversial Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen has been relocated to the US from India after death threats by Islamists radicals from her country where three secular bloggers were hacked to death since February.

"Islamic radicals reportedly linked to al-Qaeda, the same violent extremists who claimed responsibility for the recent murders of freethought writers Avijit Roy, Washiqur Rahman, and Ananta Bijoy Das, have been threatening the life of Taslima Nasreen," New York-based advocacy group Center for Inquiry said in a press release.

"Because of the very real danger to her life, Taslima has decided to leave India. For the indefinite future, to preserve her life, she will need to stay in the United States? where she currently has no job or home," said Ronald A Lindsay, President & CEO of the group.

Lindsay said that these death threats should be taken very seriously as three writers have been viciously murdered in three months. "We at the Center for Inquiry are doing all we can to keep her out of harm?s way," he added.

The 52-year-old controversial writer from Bangladesh has been living in exile since 1994 in the wake of death threats by Muslim fundamentalist outfits.

Taslima is now a citizen of Sweden. She has been continuously getting Indian visa since 2004.

She has lived in the US, Europe and India in the last two decades. However, on many occasions she had expressed her wish to live in India permanently, especially in Kolkata.

The writer had to leave Kolkata in 2007 following violent street protests by a section of Muslims against her works.

"Having Haldiram's bhujia in America. This bhujia is export pack. Spiced bean and chickpeas flour noodles," Taslima tweeted today. She arrived in the US last week.

"Her safety is only temporary if she cannot remain in the US, however, which is why CFI has established an emergency fund to help with food, housing, and the means for her to be safely settled," the statement said.

Without going into detail, CFI said it has been contacted by other writers in the subcontinent who have received death threats and who have requested assistance.

"We are withholding their names for their own safety," it added.