India: Writer Taslima Nasrin again attacked by fundamentalists

Reuters/The Hindu
The Indian police have filed a case against Nasrin for "creating religious tensions".
Indian police said yesterday they had registered a complaint against exiled Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasrin for creating religious tensions, after she was attacked by Muslim protesters.
But they said they were also seeking permission to arrest the radical Muslim lawmaker who brought the complaint - for saying Nasrin could be killed after the incident.

The assault on the author erupted during the launch of a translation of one of her novels on Thursday [9 July 2007] in the southern city of Hyderabad. Nasrin backed into a corner as middle-aged lawmakers and members of the radical All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen party threw flowers and other objects at her head and threatened her with a chair. Some shouted for her death. The writer suffered a bruised forehead and described the attack as barbaric before being taken to safety by police.

"Taslima is a controversial personality and her writings have always provoked the religious-minded in Hyderabad and elsewhere and hence we have registered a case for provocative literature," said N. Madhusudan Reddy, a senior police officer in Hyderabad. City police chief Balwinder Singh said police were yet to decide whether to seek a non-bailable warrant against Nasrin, who is hated by some radical Muslims who believe her writings injured their religious sentiments.

Police said they had also approached a court for permission to arrest the state lawmaker who brought the complaint against Nasrin, Akbaruddin Owaisi, for saying Nasrin could be killed if she returned to Hyderabad. "To arrest him ... we need the court's permission," an official said, referring to the legal privileges of an MP. Owaisi was not present at Thursday's incident but made the comment later.

Nasrin fled Bangladesh for the first time in 1994 when a court said she had "deliberately and maliciously" hurt Muslims' religious feelings with her Bengali-language novel Lajja, or "Shame". The book is about riots between Muslims and Hindus. Nasrin now lives in the eastern Indian city of Kolkata.

Supporters of another Muslim organisation, the Dasgah-e-Jehad-Shaheed, held a rally against Nasrin in Hyderabad yesterday, calling for her to leave India. The protesters, including several veiled Muslim women, also burnt the author's effigy.

11 August 2007