Taslima Nasrin alleges sexual harassment by Sunil Gangopadhyay

Dhaka, Sept 3 (UNB) – The Bangladesh-born controversial writer in exile, Taslima Nasreen, on Monday accused noted Indian author Sunil Gangopadhyay of sexually harassing her.

She brought the accusation on twitter saying he had “sexually harassed” her and many other young female authors and poets.

Sunil Gangopadhyay, however, dismissed the allegations and said these should not be given any importance, reports Indian English daily the Statesman.

Taslima tweeted: “Sunil Gangopadhyay is for book banning. He sexually harassed me & many other women. He is the President of the Sahitya Akademi. Shame shame!” Further: “Sunil Gangopadhyay asked former WB govt to ban my book Dwikhandita. Now he is speaking against book banning. Such a hypocrite!… No Bengali has courage to tear off the mask of writer Sunil Gangopadhyay, the hypocrite and women abuser.” 

Dwikhandito, the third of her five autobiographical novels, had evoked strong protests in Kolkata on 21 November 2007. A protest rally turned into a series of street fights and a jittery state administration asked her to leave the city. A month later Taslima decided to remove the pages of her book containing controversial remarks.

When a lot of people tweeted her back today, she tweeted: “Reason Sunil Ganguly behind to ban my book, I was tearing off the masks of women abusers lyk (like) him. Sunil Gangapadhyay was the mastermind behind banning of my book Dwikhandita and my banishment from West Bengal.” 

Contacted, Gangopadhyay told The Statesman: “Why is she speaking out so late?” He said he isn’t on Twitter, nor does he give any importance to such “baseless allegations”. “People tend to criticise good works more and praise less. I don’t want to react on (to) this as it would give unnecessary importance to her blabber,” he said.

Reactions by Twitter users to Taslima’s tweet were varied. One of them wondered why the Bangladeshi author had often been allegedly subjected to sexual harassment.

Taslima fled Bangladesh in 1994 when her book attracted death threats. She rose to prominence in 1993 after her first book, entitled Lajja, or Shame, angered some of Bangladesh’s Muslims.

The book argued that Bangladeshis had mistreated the country’s Hindu minority.