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WB govt bans Taslima Nasreen's book

November 28, 2003 16:34 IST

Facing protests, the West Bengal government on Friday banned Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen's book Dwikhandito (split in two), which purportedly hurt the sentiments of the Muslim community.

The book, the third volume of the writer's autobiography known as Ka, has already been banned in neighbouring Bangladesh.

A section of Kolkata's intellectuals, at the instance of the Calcutta Khilafat Committee, had urged the state government to ban the controversial book in the interest of communal amity. Last week, the Calcutta high court had passed an interim stay on the publication, printing and sale of the book following a defamation suit filed by a poet in Kolkata.

While announcing the government's decision in Kolkata, Chief Minister Buddhadev Bhattacharya said, "I have read the book."

Official sources said the step had been taken under section 153A of the Indian Penal Code since it was found that the book could spread enmity and disturb communal harmony. Under this provision, publication, sale and marketing of the book has been stopped with immediate effect.

On Thursday night, police seized over 2,500 copies of the book after raiding the premises of the binders at College Street.

When asked by the police, Shibani Mukherjee, owner of the book's Indian publishing company People's Book Society, said she obtained the manuscripts of the book either by post or through computer CDs. She replied in the negative when asked whether she still had any of the CDs in her possession.

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