NEW DELHI: “I want to go back to West Bengal as soon as possible and though I am worried about my security, Kolkata is where my heart is. I agreed to come to Delhi only to speak to top government officials here.”
This is what controversial Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen — now lodged at Rajasthan House here — reportedly told one of her escorts on her way to Delhi from Jaipur on Friday night.
Ms. Nasreen, who reached the capital on Friday night after a 10-hour-long gruelling journey, was accompanied, among others, by the Inspector-General of Jaipur Range, Pankaj Singh, and Commissioner Public Relations, Rajasthan government, Rohit Kumar Singh.
“Though distraught and under a lot of stress on Friday night, she seems relaxed today,” said Mr. Kumar.
Ms. Nasreen has been offered two-tier security by the Rajasthan and Delhi police. While guests at the Rajasthan House are being subjected to stringent security checks, Ms. Nasreen’s “temporary residence” has been declared out of bounds for the media.
“She has decided to keep her distance from the media for now,” said Mr. Kumar.
“Our Chief Minister has been in touch with her and she has been assured that she can stay at Rajasthan House as long as she wants,” said Mr. Kumar
Rajasthan Commission for Women chairperson Tara Bhandari and Bharatiya Janata Party leader Prakash Javadekar were among those who visited her on Saturday.
“Ms. Nasreen told us that she had come to Delhi to speak to some Ministers and that she was grateful to the Rajasthan government for all the help they had extended, ” said G.N. Bhatt, Joint Director at the Rajasthan Information Centre here.
The writer had moved to Jaipur from Kolkata on Thursday in the wake of the outbreak of violence there.
“Free to return’
PTI reports from Kolkata:
The West Bengal government said on Saturday that Ms. Nasreen could return to the State if she wished. “She is free to return here,” Home Secretary P.R. Roy told reporters. Asked about her security, he said, “we have security arrangements.”