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Police file case against Taslima Nasreen after attack
August 11, 2007 / 3:40 PM / 10 years ago

Police file case against Taslima Nasreen after attack

HYDERABAD, India (Reuters) - Police said on Saturday they had registered a complaint against exiled Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasreen for creating religious tensions, after she was attacked by Muslim protesters.

A veiled Muslim woman walks past policemen in Hyderabad August 10, 2007. Security in the city was beefed up after Muslim protesters assaulted exiled Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasreen at a book launch on Thursday. REUTERS/Krishnendu Halder

But they said they were also seeking permission to arrest the radical Muslim lawmaker who brought the complaint - for saying Nasreen 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 in Hyderabad.

Nasreen backed into a corner as middle-aged lawmakers and members of the radical All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen party threw a case, 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 Nasreen, who is hated by some radical Muslims for saying Islam and other religions oppress women.

Police said they had also approached a court for permission to arrest the state lawmaker who brought the complaint against Nasreen, Akbaruddin Owaisi, for saying Nasreen 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 a lawmaker.

Owaisi was not present at Thursday’s incident but made the comment later.

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”. The book is about riots between Muslims and Hindus.

Nasreen now lives in Kolkata.

Supporters of another Muslim organisation, the Dasgah-e-Jehad-Shaheed, held a rally against Nasreen in Hyderabad on Saturday, calling for her to leave India.

The protesters, including several veiled Muslim women, also burnt the author’s effigy.

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