Author Salman Rushdie, stabbed at an occasion in New York State on Friday, suffered “10 to 15” blows within the assault, eyewitnesses mentioned. One of them mentioned she thought it was “a stunt” at first.
“This guy ran on to platform and started pounding on Mr Rushdie,” mentioned Rabbi Charles Savenor, who was within the viewers for the lecture at Chautauqua Institution, about 100 km from the town.
“At first you’re like, ‘What’s going on?’ And then it became abundantly clear in a few seconds that he was being beaten,” Mr Savenor informed information company. He mentioned the assault lasted about 20 seconds.
A reporter from AP mentioned the attacker “punched or stabbed Mr Rushdie 10 to 15 times”.
A lady from the viewers, Kathleen Jones, mentioned the attacker was wearing black, with a black masks. “We thought perhaps it was part of a stunt to show that there’s still a lot of controversy around this author. But it became evident in a few seconds” that it wasn’t, she informed AP.
Mr Rushdie fell to the ground instantly, and the attacker was restrained. A small group of individuals surrounded the writer, holding up his legs, presumably to ship extra blood to his chest, AP reported.
The roughly 2,500 folks within the viewers gasped on the sight of the assault — some rushed in direction of the sage to assist — and have been later evacuated.
The New York State Police confirmed the stabbing and mentioned Mr Rushdie was taken to an space hospital by helicopter. The attacker is in custody, police mentioned, not sharing additional particulars.
New York State Governor Kathy Hochul tweeted saying “our thoughts are with Salman (Rushdie) and his loved ones,” and promised all assist in the investigation.
Thank you to the swift response of @nyspolice & first responders following right this moment’s assault of writer Salman Rushdie.
Our ideas are with Salman & his family members following this horrific occasion. I’ve directed State Police to additional help nonetheless wanted within the investigation.
— Governor Kathy Hochul (@GovKathyHochul) August 12, 2022
Social media posts confirmed folks dashing to his assist on stage. An individual interviewing Mr Rushdie suffered minor head accidents within the assault.
The assault occurred round 11 am native time (8.30 pm IST) as Mr Rushdie was being launched earlier than he was to talk. The Chautauqua Institution, situated in a rural a part of New York, is understood for its summertime lecture collection. Mr Rushdie has spoken there earlier than.
Though a reference to earlier dying threats hasn’t but been established, Mr Rushdie confronted threats notably within the late Nineteen Eighties over his e-book, The Satanic Verses, which is alleged to be blasphemous in direction of Islam. There was additionally a reward out on his head by the Iranian high chief, although by 1998 the Iranian authorities mentioned it wasn’t in search of to implement that ‘fatwa’ or edict.
In 2012, after an Iranian non secular outfit once more put a bounty on him, he dismissed the risk, saying there was “no evidence” of individuals being within the reward. That 12 months, he printed a memoir, Joseph Anton, about dwelling amid threats. The title got here from the pseudonym he had used whereas in hiding.
A British citizen of Indian origin, Mr Rushdie has lived within the US for the previous 20 years. After the controversy over his fourth e-book, The Satanic Verses (1988), he remained out of the general public eye, largely dwelling within the UK beneath authorities safety. Despite the threats, he produced a number of novels all through the Nineties.
His first novel got here out in 1975 — adopted by over a dozen works, together with non-fiction — however one in every of his seminal works is about fashionable India, Midnight’s Children (1981), for which he gained the Booker Prize.
In 2007, he was knighted — given the ceremonial title of ‘Sir’ — by Queen Elizabeth II for companies to literature.