Salman Rushdie On Ventilator After Stabbing, Attacker Identified: 10 Facts

The author's agent said that Salman Rushdie will likely lose an eye and suffered severed nerves in an arm and damage to his liver

Salman Rushdie had been airlifted to the hospital where he underwent an emergency surgery.

New Delhi: Author Salman Rushdie, who spent years in hiding after an Iranian fatwa ordered his killing, was on a ventilator and could lose an eye following a stabbing attack at a literary event in New York state on Friday.

Here's your 10-point cheatsheet to this big story:

  1. The British author of "The Satanic Verses", which sparked fury among some Muslims who believed it was blasphemous, had to be airlifted to hospital for emergency surgery following the attack.

  2. His agent said in a statement obtained by The New York Times that "the news is not good." "Salman will likely lose one eye; the nerves in his arm were severed; and his liver was stabbed and damaged," said agent Andrew Wylie, who added that Mr Rushdie could not speak.

  3. Carl LeVan, an American University politics professor attending the literary event, told AFP that the assailant had rushed onto the stage where Rushdie was seated and "stabbed him repeatedly and viciously."

  4. New York state police identified the suspected attacker as Hadi Matar, a 24-year-old from Fairfield, New Jersey, adding that he stabbed Mr Rushdie in the neck as well as the abdomen.

  5. An interviewer onstage, 73-year-old Ralph Henry Reese, suffered a facial injury but has been released from hospital, police said. The attack took place at the Chautauqua Institution, which hosts arts programmes in a tranquil lakeside community 110 km south of Buffalo city.

  6. Mr Rushdie, 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.

  7. But his 1988 book "The Satanic Verses" transformed his life when Iran's first supreme leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a fatwa, or religious decree, ordering his killing. The novel was considered by some Muslims as disrespectful of Islam and the Prophet Mohammad.

  8. Mr Rushdie, who was born in India to non-practicing Muslims and identifies as an atheist, was forced to go underground as a bounty was put on his head. He was granted police protection by the government in Britain, where he was at school and where he made his home, following the murder or attempted murder of his translators and publishers.

  9. Global leaders voiced anger over the attack, with French President Emmanuel Macron saying the author "embodied freedom" and that "his battle is ours, a universal one." British leader Boris Johnson said he was "appalled," sending thoughts to Rushdie's loved ones and praising the author for "exercising a right we should never cease to defend."

  10. "I also read about it. This is something that the whole world has noticed and the whole world has reacted to such an attack," External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said on the attack on Mr Rushdie, news agency ANI reported.

With inputs from AFP



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