Exiled Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen’s visa was extended for a year by Union Home Ministry on Friday. After her residency permit lapsed on August 17, the author had been urging the government to renew it.
The decision has been taken following an intervention of Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh as Taslima has been requesting the government to further extend her visa. The 52-year-old writer’s visa was granted for a year with effect from July 23, a Home Ministry official said.
Earlier, government sources had said that an extension of her visa was pending a final nod from security agencies.
Reacting to the decision, Taslima told PTI that she was very happy though she was expecting her visa to be extended by more than a year. “Anyway, this is always a welcome news. I am yet to be officially conveyed (the government decision) and you are the one who broke the news to me,” she said.
Taslima, who also holds Swedish citizenship, left Bangladesh in 1994 amid threats issued to her by fundamentalist groups for alleged blasphemy of Islam. She has been given an Indian visa on a continuous basis since 2004. Since leaving Bangladesh, she has been living in exile in the US, Norway, Germany, Sweden and India, but has expressed her desire to live permanently in India, preferably in Kolkata.