Sunday, 22 January 2012

Salman Rushdie steps out of Jaipur Literary Event

Threats of an assassination plan by Mumbai gangsters have forced the writer to confirm that he will withdraw from the festival

In a statement, he said: 'For the last several days I have made no public comment about my proposed trip to the Jaipur Literary Festival at the request of the local authorities in Rajasthan, hoping that they would put in place such precautions as might be necessary to allow me to come and address the Festival audience in circumstances that were comfortable and safe for all.

'I have now been informed by intelligence sources in Maharashtra and Rajasthan that paid assassins from the Mumbai underworld may be on their way to Jaipur to 'eliminate' me. While I have some doubts about the accuracy of this intelligence, it would be irresponsible of me to come to the Festival in such circumstances; irresponsible to my family, to the festival audience,and to my fellow writers. I will therefore not travel to Jaipur as planned.'

The Satantic Verses, Salman Rushdie's controversial 1988 novel that sparked a fatwa against the author by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, is banned in India.

Mr Rushdie is hoping to address the festival via video link.

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