Kolkata's clerics threaten Taslima Nasreen

KOLKATA, India Fri Aug 17, 2007 6:52pm IST

File photo of Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasreen reading a newspaper in a hotel in Kolkata, January 20, 2004. Muslim clerics in eastern India issued a ''death warrant'' against controversial Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasreen on Friday, threatening her life if she did not leave the country where she lives in exile. REUTERS/Jayanta Shaw/Files

File photo of Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasreen reading a newspaper in a hotel in Kolkata, January 20, 2004. Muslim clerics in eastern India issued a ''death warrant'' against controversial Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasreen on Friday, threatening her life if she did not leave the country where she lives in exile.

Credit: Reuters/Jayanta Shaw/Files

Related Topics

KOLKATA, India (Reuters) - Muslim clerics in Kolkata issued a "death warrant" against controversial Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasreen on Friday, threatening her life if she did not leave the country where she lives in exile.

The threat came after a meeting of dozens of clerics from prominent mosques in Kolkata - where the writer lives - who said she had invited their wrath through her "repeated criticism" of Islam in her books and speeches.

While one prominent cleric said Nasreen had a month to leave, another said she had 15 days. Anyone who killed her would get a cash reward of 100,000 rupees ($2,400), they said.

"Anyone who executes the warrant will also be given additional rewards," said Nurur Rehman Barkati, a cleric of one of the biggest mosques in Kolkata.

The move by the clerics came a week after Nasreen was attacked by radical Muslims in Hyderabad during the launch of a translation of one of her novels.

Nasreen 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", which is about riots between Muslims and Hindus.

At the time, thousands of radical Muslims protested against her, demanding that she be killed for blasphemy.

Police said they had stepped up security around Nasreen's house in Kolkata after the clerics' announcement.

Nasreen said their illegal order destroyed India's secular image. "I have never hurt religious sentiments and strongly believe in freedom of speech," she told Reuters. "I am not afraid of death, but I am saddened by the turn of events."

FILED UNDER:
  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Reforms Plan

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Border Tensions

Border Tensions

India names Ajit Doval as special envoy for China border talks.  Full Article 

Easing Congestion

Easing Congestion

India targets private cash to build railways to its ports.  Full Article 

First Casualty

First Casualty

Jindal Steel shelves $10 bln project after coal setback.  Full Article 

Global Trade Dispute

Global Dispute

U.S. seeks to step up India trade talks after WTO deal.  Full Article 

Budget Airline

Budget Airline

SpiceJet says in early talks with investors for fresh capital.  Full Article 

Iran Talks

Iran Talks

Iran nuclear talks extended 7 months after failing to meet deadline.  Full Article 

Obama Aide Quits

Obama Aide Quits

Hagel resigns as U.S. defence secretary, official says.  Full Article 

Clarke In

Clarke In

Clarke in first test team, but must prove fitness.  Full Article 

Glory Days

Glory Days

Hamilton leaves the partying for later.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage