03/18/2008, 00.00
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Taslima Nasreen is leaving India, the threats have made her ill

The author of controversial novels, the Bengalese Taslima Nasreen has announced that she will leave India, the country where she is living in exile. Threats from the Muslim community have been dogging her and have forced her to remain inside her home, which has become a prison that is endangering her mental and physical health.

Delhi (AsiaNews/Agencies) - There seems to be no peace for author Taslima Nasreen.  Death threats continue to come from some Muslims against the controversial writer, and Taslima feels that her health is being seriously affected.  For this reason, she has said that she wants to leave India, the country where she has been in exile for a few years.

Taslima's life has been an endless series of death threats, and evasions as a result.  She fled her homeland, Bangladesh, in 1994, after a court declared her book Shame as seriously offensive to Muslims, coming to Europe before establishing herself in India, in Calcutta.  But the protests did not end, and last November Taslima was forced to leave her residence in Calcutta and look for safety within the walls of a house in Delhi, under 24-hour surveillance by the local police.

In an e-mail sent to her supporters, Nasreen confesses that in Delhi she feels like she is shut up in a "chamber of death". "I am suffering from very high blood pressure, and have developed heart disease", Tasmila writes. "The blood pressure, if uncontrolled, can destroy my heart, kidneys and eyes".

According to the writer, her controversial reputation is a problem for the Indian government, which first closed her off in the house in Delhi, and is now urging her to leave the country. Taslima accuses the government of being concerned only with obtaining the votes of Muslims, who constitute the country's second largest religious community after the Hindus. "In order for the politicians to secure this Muslim vote bank, I had to be locked up and as a consequence, my health was irreparably destroyed. In Calcutta, I was living peacefully in a Bengali milieu. I was very active helping oppressed women and writing feminist and humanist literature. Here I am confined to my house, and my health is suffering".

Nonetheless, despite the pressure applied by the Muslims, sources for the BBC have said that the Indian government has regularly renewed the author's residency permit. Nasreen has not said when she will leave the country, or where she will go.

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The writer Bo Yang dies, disliked by nationalists and communists
New Delhi extends visa for anti-veil writer Nasreen
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