Taslima`s visa extended by a year, seeks permanent residency

Last Updated: Tuesday, February 16, 2010 - 23:29

New Delhi: Government has extended by one
year the visa for controversial Bangladeshi writer Taslima
Nasrin who has also moved for permanent residency in India.

The extension of visa came a day before its expiry,
relieving the 46-year-old author of tension about her future
stay in India, her "adopted" home since leaving Bangladesh in
1994 in the face of death threats from fundamentalist groups
against her alleged blasphemous writings.

"I`m grateful to the Indian government that my visa has
been extended", Taslima said tonight and expressed the
hope that the government would grant her permanent residence
permit for which she has moved a fresh application.

"I got the visa extension stamped on my passport today
and it has come as a relief after days of tension since my
return to India", the writer said.

Taslima said she was happy that unlike in the past she
has not been verbally told this time to go abroad again after
her visa extension and that is why she has decided to stay put
in this country.

"It`s good that I don`t have to roam in the West as a
vagabond. After all, I have adopted India as my country and I
have nowhere else to go. India is my place of work", she said.

The author said Indian government has always told her
that it grants "shelter to anyone seeking shelter" and
expressed the hope that she would get permanent residence in
the same spirit.

"If India doesn`t grant me permanent residence, where
else do I go. Should I again be going abroad and move around
like a vagabond?" Taslima said.

However, she said "the bad news" is that she has got a
letter from the Union Home Ministry that this was the las time
she was given the visa extension.

"If that is the case, I fervently hope I get permanent
residency. After no less a person than Pranab Mukherjee had
assured that India would give me shelter", Taslima said.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, February 16, 2010 - 23:29

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