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'Taslima is virtually under house arrest'

November 29, 2007 15:48 IST
Senior leader of the Communist party of India Gurudas Dasgupta has alleged that controversial Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen is virtually under house arrest at a guest house in New Delhi.

However, he refused to disclose her current location.

"On Wednesday, I managed to speak to her on the phone and mind you, I was the first politician to do so. She told me that her movements were restricted and she was not allowed to move out," Dasgupta told reporters.

He slammed the statement made by Minister of External Affairs Pranab Mukherjee who had said that while the government would do everything to ensure that Nasreen was safe, she must not do anything to hurt others.

"She has been living in Kolkata for the last three years but she has not indulged in any kind of politics. She is a writer and you cannot curb her natural ability to write," he said.

When queried by if the writer had told him that she had been forced to leave Kolkata, he shot back, "Even if she did tell me about that, I would not tell you."

Dasgupta added that he will request West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya to facilitate Nasreen's return to Kolkata.  "It is unfortunate that she had to leave the city," he added.

Speaking on the India-Unites States nuclear agreement, the senior CPI leader said that the government was in a minority as far as the deal was concerned.

He added that the Congress has to decide which leader would give the final reply to the nuclear deal debate in Parliament. "On this occasion, the prime minister was the non-playing captain while Pranab Mukherjee was the playing captain," Dasgupta pointed out.
Onkar Singh in New Delhi