Rushdie on ventilator with damaged liver, may lose eye : The Tribune India

Rushdie on ventilator with damaged liver, may lose eye

Literary world calls it attack on freedom of expression I India quiet

Rushdie on ventilator with damaged liver, may lose eye

Law enforcement officers detain the 24-year-old suspect, Hadi Matar, outside Chautauqua Institution in New York. AP/PTI

New York, August 13

Salman Rushdie was on a ventilator with a damaged liver and may lose an eye after the Mumbai-born controversial author was stabbed in the neck and abdomen by a man at a speaking event in New York state, sending shockwaves across the literary world, which condemned the incident as an attack on the freedom of expression.

“The news is not good,” the 75-year-old writer’s agent, Andrew Wylie, said after a profusely bleeding Rushdie was airlifted from a field adjacent to the venue in Western New York on Friday to a hospital in northwestern Pennsylvania and underwent a surgery for hours.

Rushdie had once complained of too much security around him: Media report

Rushdie, who faced Islamist death threats for years after writing “The Satanic Verses”, was stabbed by a 24-year-old New Jersey resident, identified as Hadi Matar, on stage while he was being introduced at a literary event of Chautauqua Institution in western New York.

The New York State Police, which is investigating the attack, said the Bureau of Criminal Investigation arrested Matar for “attempted murder second degree and assault second degree”.

“Salman will likely lose an eye; the nerves in his arm were severed; and his liver was stabbed and damaged,” Wylie told The New York Times. Rushdie, who won the Booker Prize for his novel “Midnight’s Children”, is still unable to speak, he said. The suspect was from Fairview, New Jersey, State Police Troop Commander Major Eugene J Staniszewski said in a news conference. The police are working with the FBI and the local authorities to determine the motive.

A preliminary review of Matar’s social media accounts by law enforcement showed him to be sympathetic to Shia extremism and the causes of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, a law enforcement person with direct knowledge of the investigation told NBC News.

The authorities are also working to obtain search warrants for several items found at the scene, including a backpack and electronic devices, Staniszewski said.

To a question about the attacker’s nationality, Staniszewski said, “I don’t know yet.” The authorities believe the suspect was alone but are investigating “to make sure that was the case,” Staniszewski said, adding that the authorities would determine “appropriate charges” as the investigation continues.

Rushdie’s fourth book, “The Satanic Verses”, in 1988 forced him into hiding for nine years.

The late Iranian leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, accused Rushdie of blasphemy over the book and in 1989 issued a fatwa against him, calling for his death. Rushdie’s writing has led to death threats from Iran, which has offered a $3 million reward for anyone who kills him.

Staniszewski said Rushdie was provided medical treatment by a doctor who was in the audience until emergency medical personnel arrived on the scene.

“We are deeply shocked and appalled to hear of the attack on Salman Rushdie. We condemn this violent public assault, and our thoughts are with Salman and his family at this distressing time,” Markus Dohle, CEO of Penguin Random House, tweeted.

US National Security Adviser Jake Sulliving denounced the “appalling” attack and said members of the Biden-Harris administration were praying for his speedy recovery.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul called the attack “horrific”. “Here is an individual who has spent decades speaking truth to power, someone who has been out there, unafraid, despite the threats that have followed him through his entire adult life,” Hochul said. “PEN America is reeling from shock and horror at word of a brutal, premeditated attack on our former President and stalwart ally, Salman Rushdie,” PEN America CEO Suzanne Nossel said in a statement. — PTI

Suspect sympathetic to Shia extremism

  • Suspect Hadi Matar (24) arrested for attempted murder second degree and assault second degree
  • Preliminary review of his social media accounts reveal he was sympathetic to Shia extremism as well as causes of Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps

Cops say efforts on to determine motive

  • Police working with the FBI and the local authorities to determine the motive
  • Search warrants being obtained for items, including devices found at scene

Jaishankar makes brief comments

I also read about that...I also saw that. Obviously that is something which the whole world has noted. — S Jaishankar, EAM


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