Kolkata: In a throwback to the Salman Rushdie row in Jaipur, the official release of the seventh part of controversial author Taslima Nasreen's book 'Nirbasan' (Exile) at the Kolkata Book Fair was cancelled on Wednesday following protests by religious fundamentalists.
    
But People's Book Society (PBS), the publishers of the book, remained unfazed and ignored the protests and went ahead with the launch near its stall outside the official venue, earlier fixed by the Publishers and Booksellers' Guild, the Fair organisers.
    
The cancellation prompted the exiled author, who was not present, to vent her fury tweeting profusely on the microblogging site Twitter.
    
"Kolkata Book Fair committee canceled my book release program today at Kolkata Book Fair. Why? Some religious fanatics don't want it to happen," she said.
    
"The PBS publisher with friends has released my book under the open sky at Kolkata Book Fair. Book release in the AC hall was banned."
   
Sudhangshu De, Guild Secretary, said that the publisher's booking at the auditorium at the fair grounds was cancelled "fearing a law and order problem during the book release."
    
The police said that no untoward incident was reported before and after the inauguration of the book.
     
The Guild had earlier asked the publisher not to release the book after protests were reported from fundamentalists.     
All-India Minority Forum president Idris Ali, who rushed to the spot, resented the launch of the controversial book, stating that it intended to hurt sentiments of the Muslims.
    
Taslima fans at the fair also raised slogans that the author should return to Kolkata from where she was bundled out by the authorities in 2007 following rioting. 'Taslima come back', they shouted in chorus.
    
Salman Rushdie's video address at the Jaipur Literary Festival was cancelled at the last minute last week following protests from some Muslim groups. The author of the banned book Satanic Verses had earlier pulled out of the event over security concerns.

(Agencies)