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Author Salman Rushdie stabbed in neck at New York

Witnesses saw a man storm the stage at the Chautauqua Institution and stab Rushdie about 10 to 15 times as he was being introduced.

Salman Rushdie, the author whose writing led to death threats from Iran in the 1980s, was stabbed in the neck yesterday as he was about to give a lecture in New York. Witnesses saw a man storm the stage at the Chautauqua Institution and stab Rushdie about 10 to 15 times as he was being introduced. The author was taken or fell to the floor, and the man was restrained.

Later, the New York Police released a statement saying that Rushdie was stabbed in the neck. The police statement said that a male suspect ran up onto the stage at a speaking event & attacked Salman Rushdie & an interviewer at Chautauqua Institution in Chautauqua.

The statement further said that Rushdie suffered an apparent stab wound to his neck & was transported by helicopter to a hospital.

New York governor Kathy Hochul said later that Rushdie is alive and had been transported to safety. Reportedly, Rushdie is now on a ventilator as his condition is stated to be serious.

Reportedly, the event moderator was attacked as well and he has been hospitalized as well.

The author, now 75, was propelled into the spotlight with his second novel “Midnight’s Children” in 1981, which won international praise and Britain’s prestigious Booker Prize for its portrayal of post-independence India.

But his 1988 book “The Satanic Verses” brought attention beyond his imagination when it sparked a fatwa, or religious decree, calling for his death by Iranian revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

The novel was considered by some Muslims as disrespectful of the Prophet Muhammad.

Rushdie, who was born in India to non-practicing Muslims and himself is an atheist, was forced to go underground as a bounty was put on his head – which still remains today.

Threats and boycotts continue against literary events that Rushdie attends, and his knighthood in 2007 sparked protests in Iran and Pakistan, where a government minister said the honor justified suicide bombings.

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First Published: 13th August, 2022 15:57 IST

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