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Threatened Bangladeshi author now faces charges

Bangladeshi writer Talisma Nasrin, who had to be protected from physical attacks at her book launch in Hyderabad in south India last week, is now facing charges of inciting religious tensions, The Guardian reports.

Nasrin, whose writings have been accused of insulting Islam and have led to threats and fatwas against her in the past, could face two years in prison if convicted.

Charges have also been been laid against local politicians alleged to have attacked her at the launch.

The police are also investigating remarks made by the MIM leader, Akbaruddin Owaisi, widely reported to have threatened the author with death, as well as the leader of the MIM’s local rivals, the Majlis Bachao Tehreek (MBT) party, who is reported to have claimed that the attack was an attempt by the MIM to foil a plan to kill the writer outside the press club.

Writs are also to be filed against the MLAs involved in the attack by local citizens’ groups who had condemned the attack and criticised the police response.

But with local elections due early next year, the issue is fast becoming a political flash-point, with the MIM widely expected to use a fatwa against Nasrin as a tool to mobilise the Muslim vote.