Washington (US): Salman Rushdie, the Indian-origin controversial novelist, was stabbed in the neck and torso onstage at a lecture in New York state on Friday (August 12) and airlifted to a hospital, police said. After hours of surgery, Rushdie was on a ventilator and according book his book agent Andrew Wylie, the author might lose one eye. The New York State Police have identified the suspect. Here’s what we know about him so far:
– The New York State Police have identified the suspect, who attacked Salman Rushdie, as Hadi Matar, 24, from Fairview, New Jersey.
– The motive behind the act is still unknown. The authorities didn’t reveal much information about the suspect.
– “The suspect has been identified as Hadi Matar, 24, from Fairview, New Jersey. Earlier today, approx. at 10:47 am, the speaker Rushdie,75 and Henry Reese,73 had just arrived at the stage of the institution and shortly thereafter the suspect jumped out of the stage and attacked at least once in the neck and at least once in the abdomen,” State Police Troop Commander Major Eugene J. Staniszewski said in a news conference.
– The police further said that several members of the institution and the audience quickly responded to the incident and took the suspect to the ground. A doctor in the audience “immediately began first aid for Rushdie” after the stabbing, Major Staniszewski said.
– Salman Rushdie has faced death threats over his book ‘The Satanic Verses’, though it was published long back in 1988. He spent years in hiding after Iran urged Muslims to kill him because of his writing.
– The New York State Police said in a statement that a male suspect ran up onto the stage prior to a speaking event at the Chautauqua Institution in Chautauqua and attacked Rushdie.
– Rushdie is currently undergoing treatment at the hospital. While saying that the “news is not good,” Andrew Wylie, his book agent, wrote in an email: “Salman will likely lose one eye; the nerves in his arm were severed, and his liver was stabbed and damaged.”
– From prominent figures in the literary circle to leading politicians, there was an outpour of global reactions, slamming the attack on Rushdie.
– Reacting to the incident, veteran Bollywood lyricist Javed Akhtar condemned the barbaric attack. “I condemn the barbaric attack on Salman Rushdie by some fanatic. I hope that NY police and the court will take the strongest action possible against the attacker,” Javed Akhtar tweeted.
– Salman Rushdie is an Indian-born British-American novelist. He was born on June 19, 1947, in Mumbai and later shifted to the UK where he completed schooling and did his college. Since 2000, Rushdie has lived in the United States. His second novel, Midnight’s Children, won the Booker Prize in 1981. He has several great works to his name but it was his fourth novel, ‘The Satanic Verses’ (1988), that became the subject of controversy, provoking protests from Muslims across the globe.