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Taslima Nasreen seeks Centre's help, as Delhi landlords refuse to rent her a flat

Noted Bengali writer Taslima Nasreen has said that she was finding it difficult to rent a flat in south Delhi as most of the landlords are unwilling because of security concerns. Writing a column

India TV News Desk, New Delhi [ Published on: January 10, 2017 16:35 IST ]
File photo of Taslima Nasreen
File photo of Taslima Nasreen

Noted Bengali writer Taslima Nasreen has said that she was finding it difficult to rent a flat in south Delhi as most of the landlords are  unwilling because of security concerns. 

Writing a column in the Dhaka-based Bengali daily Bangla Tribune, a copy of which she posted on her Facebook, Taslima Nasreen, against whom Islamic fundamentalists have declared 'fatwa' in Dhaka and Kolkata, has said she had unsuccessfully tried to contact Home Minister Rajnath Singh and the Prime Minister's Office to narrate her problem.

Taslima Nasreen is presently staying in a friend's apartment in south Delhi, along with her security personnel, but after her friend passed away, his son now intends to sell off the apartment and he has asked her to vacate. 

The writer narrated how she met Home Minister Rajnath Singh a year back and had then sought his help to stay in a rented government flat along with her securitymen, "but no help was forthcoming". 

"I sought another meeting with him, but was not given an appointment. I tried to contact higher-ups whom I knew in his party, but they refused to take my phone calls nor did they reply to my messages", Taslima Nasreen wrote. 

"They (BJP) condemn other political parties for staying silent when I faced threats from fundamentalists, but now they themselves are silent in my hour of crisis. It seems, in my case, all political parties in India are the same, similar to the BNP, Awami League, Jatiyo Party, Jamaat-e-Islami in Bangladesh, who never support me."

The writer further says: "The Prime Minister had during his poll campaign had questioned why I was forcibly exiled from West Bengal. This was when he was the chief minister of Gujarat. He had named me and in one of his speeches he had said, if West Bengal cannot offer security, send Taslima to Gujarat, we will provide her security."

"Like a fool, I always trust what people promise. I tried to meet the Prime Minister in this hour of crisis, but failed. I was told, he won't meet me. He mentions my name during poll campaign, but forgets once he wins the election", she wrote.

"The main objective of my wish to meet government leaders is that, I want to tell them, if you do not help me in finding a flat, then better withdraw my security. Let me hire a flat in Delhi without any security personnel."

Narrating her ordeals in finding a flat, Taslima writes: "Most of the flat owners do show me the flat, then decide on the rent, but when the time comes for signing an agreement, they plainly refuse. They raise the issues of fatwa, the rewards on my head by fundamentalists and the security personnel that guard me. They fear all this."

Taslima Nasreen has been in exile for the last 24 years, after fundamentalists threatened to kill her for her writings against Islam.

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