Kolkata: Controversial Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasreen said on Saturday that the Indian government has decided to grant her residential visa. Ms Nasreen had met Home Minister Rajnath Singh earlier in the day and requested him that she be allowed to stay in India for a longer period.
"I am very happy. I am very grateful to the government for allowing me to live in this country," she told NDTV. "I feel at home in India," she added.
Ms Nasreen had expressed her anguish after the government on Wednesday refused her a one-year visa giving instead a temporary permission to stay in India for two months.
Following her outburst on a social networking site, support for her has been pouring from various quarters with Press Council of India Chairperson and former Supreme Court judge Markandey Katju demanding permanent visa for the 52-year-old who has been living in exile since 1994.
Mr Katju today welcomed the government's decision to grant Ms Nasreen a residential visa. "@narendramodi Modiji, congratulations to your govt. for giving residential visa to Taslima Nasreen. She is a brave woman, hounded by bigots (sic)," Mr Katju tweeted today.
Exiled from Bangladesh in 1994 for "hurting religious sentiments" with her novel "Lajja", Ms Nasreen took refuge in Kolkata in 2004. But after violent protests in the city November 2007, the erstwhile Left Front government whisked her away to New Delhi where she has been living since then.
"I am a Bengali writer but I am not allowed to stay in Bangladesh and West Bengal. I would be very happy if i am allowed to stay in Kolkata," she said today.