“I was planning to bring all my books from Sweden. After this government came to power I thought I would apply for a five/ten year resident permit. I was shocked to find that I have only been given two months here,” Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasreen told The Sunday Express after she met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday.
Singh reportedly assured her during the 20 minute meeting that she would be allowed to stay in India for a longer period. “I met Honourable Home Minister Rajnath Singhji this afternoon. Gave him my book ‘Wo Andhere Din’. He said,’Aapka Andhere Din Khatam Ho Jayega’ (Your dark days will end),” Nasreen tweeted after her meeting.
Nasreen, who has been staying in India since 2004 in the wake of death threats from Muslim fundamentalist outfits, had applied for a renewal for a resident permit in June this year.
Last week she was informed that she was being given a temporary visa for two months while the home ministry takes a decision on the permit.
“When I came to India in 2004, I was given a resident permit for six months which was later extended to one year. After the NDA government came, I applied for a long term resident permit and was hoping to get it. I met the home minister…He has assured me that the two-month visa is a technical issue…and they needed some time,” she said.
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“I have to go to Oxford to deliver a lecture and after that I plan to go to Sweden. I was expecting a long-term resident permit and even got all my belongings here,” she said.
A verification process of Nasreen’s visa application has been initiated and the two-month visa has been given pending a decision on the longer-term visa. After the verification process is completed, the government will take an appropriate decision, a Home Ministry official said.