An FIR has been lodged against Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasreen for allegedly hurting religious sentiments through her comments on Twitter.
Hasan Raza Khan Noori Miyan, son of Maulana Subhan Raza Khan Subhani Miyan, a prominent Muslim cleric of the Dargah-e-Ala Hazrat in Uttar Pradesh’s northern Bareilly district, filed the complaint on Wednesday night for her for her “derogatory comments on fatwas issued by Muslim clerics,” said Kotwali station officer Mohammad Babar.
The complainant objected to certain tweets by Ms Nasreen against Muslim clerics on November 6. A fatwa was also issued against her, with the cleric demanding that she be arrested.
“Indians shd speak up against fanatics who vitiate society& push it backward& politicians who encourage them. Else, it's bad news for democracy,” she had tweeted. The author was commenting on a meeting between Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal and a leading cleric and politician, Maulana Tauqeer Raza Khan, in Bareilly.
Quoting a 2007 Daily Times news report, Ms. Nasreen also tweeted: “Taslima shd be killed &beheaded &anyone who does this will get a reward from the council-Tauqeer Raza Khan. March,07.”
In 2007, Mr. Khan had put a reward of Rs.5 lakh on the author’s head and asked New Delhi to restrict her entry into the country.
Following violent protests over the renewal of her visa later on, she was bundled out of Kolkata to Delhi by the authorities.
She took to Twitter to express her disapproval. “Clerics set price on my head. I tweeted that they set price on my head. They now claim my tweet hurts their sentiments. So lodged FIR ag[ai]nst me Fighting for women’s rights since ‘80s,” she tweeted.
“Fanatics burnt down my books, set price on my head, demanded my deportation or execution. Nothing new,” said another tweet.
Mr. Khan did not respond to phone calls.
Marcus Dam reports from Kolkata:
“I am shocked to hear this… What wrong have I done?” retorted Ms. Nasreen when asked for her comments on reports of an FIR lodged against her in Uttar Pradesh.
“It has never been my intention to hurt the sentiments of any religious community. All I am against is any sort of religious fundamentalism, whatever the shade,” she told The Hindu over phone from New Delhi.
Ms. Nasreen said her struggle, as a writer, has “not been against any single individual but against fundamentalism.”
“For over 30 years, through my books, my struggle has been against this disturbing trend of religious fundamentalism that appears in different parts of the world… This force has also been assailing the rights of women and is one of the factors for social backwardness among sections of the Muslim community,” she said.
“Fundamentalists are not for human rights so there is this attempt to stop me from coming out with the truth… I have also been thrown out of my country for this,” Ms. Nasreen said.