Dadagiri with Police Support

Beat this! Police slap case on Taslima, attackers roam free 



In a stunning follow-up to the attack on Taslima Nasreen by Muslim activists, the Hyderabad police on Saturday booked the exiled Bangladeshi author for promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, language — a charge that can get her two years in prison, if proven. The attackers are roaming freely, charged with minor misdemeanours.
   The move by cops, who had dragged their feet on complaints against the goons of a city-based political group, the Majlis-Ittehadul Muslimeen, booked Taslima under section 153 (a) of the IPC after a complaint by MIM’s floor leader in the AP assembly Akbaruddin Owaisi.
   The MIM leader, who had warned Taslima would be killed if she stepped into Hyderabad again, alleged the novelist had hurt sentiments of the Muslim community with her writings and her speeches against Islam. The case against Taslima was filed at Hyderabad’s Punjagutta police station.
   Why the police filed a case against Taslima by taking MIM’s contention seriously appears to be politically driven — the ruling Congress needs the Muslim group’s support. And as for MIM, the group, which once backed the Nizam’s rule and opposed joining the Indian union, was under pressure from the city’s Urdu press for letting the feisty author off ‘lightly’.
   The largest selling Urdu paper in its Saturday edition published a picture of MIM legislators throwing a bouquet at Taslima and chided the party for throwing flowers at the author. The daily poured scorn on MIM legislators for “not even throwing chappals and shoes” at the Bangladeshi novelist, who was in the city for the release of the Telugu translation of her book ‘Shodh’.
   ‘‘Passions are being aroused in the old city with the Urdu dailies and the MIM competing with each other for the sake of religion. There was no other way for the MIM but to file a case against Taslima to demonstrate that they are doing enough,’’ a political analyst said.

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