Vol. 5 Num 1137 Fri. August 10, 2007  

Attack on Taslima Nasreen's book Launching function in India

Activists of an Islamic party yesterday attacked a book launching ceremony of exiled Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad.

Nasreen, who was here to release the Telugu translation of her latest work "Shodh", escaped unhurt as organisers and journalists shielded her and escorted her to safety.

A group of over 40 Majlis-e-Ittehadul-Muslimeen (MIM) workers, led by three party legislators Afsar Khan, Ahmed Pasha and Mouzam Khan, stormed into the Hyderabad Press Club when the function was about to conclude.

Hurling abuses and raising full-throated slogans, the MIM workers surged menacingly towards the dais as a stunned Nasreen looked on.

The attackers threw papers and books at the novelist. In the melee, Telugu language writer N Innaiah, who is the organiser of the function and President of Centre for Inquiry, a rationalist organisation, was injured along with a press photographer.

Alert organisers and journalists, covering the event, threw a protective cover around Nasreen and later took her to the adjoining room.

The MIM activists, who demanded that the Bangladeshi author be sent back immediately, broke window panes and damaged furniture at the venue.