Israeli writer to move SC to remain in India

Kozhikode: British-born Israeli writer Susan Nathan, facing deportation from India for alleged links with suspected religious extremists groups, has decided to move the Supreme Court to fight it out for fulfiling her desire to remain in the country. Having been in "a war zone" for about six decades, the 63-year-old internationally acclaimed writer wants to live in "the land of the Mahatma", her lawyer Manjeri Sunder Raj said.

Nathan would appeal to the Supreme Court next week, pleading for allowing her to remain in India, Raj told PTI when contacted from Kochi. "We are planning to move the Supreme Court by next week against the order of the division bench of the Kerala High Court, which turned down her plea," he said. "There is no question of her going back. She is refusing to go as as her reputation has been tarnished due to the police report," he said.

Police had alleged she had links with some fundamental organisations here and registered a case against her for violating provisions of the Foreigners Act. Nathan had been ordered by the Kozhikode District Collector to leave the country following lapse of her visa in 2010 challenging which she had approached the High Court, which also turned down her plea. A British Jew, Nathan, is writing a book on her experiences in India. The allegation that she had violated visa regulations were incorrect, he said.

The writer`s troubles began when her book `The Other Side of Israel` was translated by a publisher in Kozhikode, which was alleged to have received funds from banned organisations like SIMI. Harper Collins, publisher of the book, had in fact given permission to the Malayalam publishers and not Nathan, the counsel said. There are also some "misgivings" about the translation. The book was translated by Dr Abdullah Manima, who is alleged to have some SIMI connections, the counsel said.

Efforts are on to bring out the correct translation of the book by Olive publishers, Raj said. Dismissing Nathan`s appeal last week, a division bench said a lot of "adverse incriminating circumstances" have been pointed out against her and the Home Ministry had issued a "look out" circular too. The safety and security of the country should be given paramount importance, it had observed.

Nathan had come to Kozhikode in 2010 as honorary Pain and Palliative Volunteer at the government hospital here. Though she had applied for a work visa, she was issued `X` Visa, a special visa issued to persons of Indian origin and other categories. This visa need not be renewed after 180 days as other visas and gets automatically renewed, her counsel said.

The writer also suffers from various ailments, including auto-immune disorder and has to undergo spinal surgery. In a statement here, Nathan said she is confident of disaproving the charges. Besides the Indian laws, she would invoke international laws and the UN Declaration of Human Rights to stress her claim to remain in India.