New York State Police have identified the suspect who attacked Salman Rushdie as Hadi Matar, 24, of Fairview, New Jersey, while the motive behind the act is still unknown.
“The suspect has been identified as Hadi Matar, 24, of Fairview, New Jersey. Earlier today, at approximately 10:47 a.m., Speaker Rushdie, 75, and Henry Reese, 73 had just arrived at the institution’s podium and shortly after the The suspect jumped off the podium and attacked at least once in the neck and at least once in the abdomen,” State Police Commander Major Eugene J. Staniszewski said at a news conference.
Police went on to say that several members of the facility and the public responded quickly to the incident and brought the suspect to the ground.
A doctor in the audience began “immediately providing first aid for Rushdie” after the stabbing, Major Staniszewski said. Authorities have not released much information about the suspect.
Previously, Salman Rushdie, who received death threats for his book “The Satanic Verses,” was “stabbed” on stage in upstate New York.
Earlier, New York Governor Kathy Hochul said the author is alive and has been transported to a local hospital.
“He is alive and has been transported, flown to safety… The moderator of the event was also attacked; he is receiving the care he needs at a local hospital,” she said.
The New York State Police said in a statement that a male suspect ran onto the stage ahead of a speech at the Chautauqua Institute in Chautauqua and attacked Rushdie.
It said the author suffered a significant stab wound to the neck and was transported by helicopter to a nearby hospital. A suspect has been arrested.
The Rushdie interviewer was also assaulted during the incident and suffered a minor head injury, police said.
“State police are investigating the attack on author Salman Rushdie ahead of a speaking engagement at the Chautauqua Institute in Chautauqua, NY,” the statement said.
The seventy-five-year-old author, who took the spotlight in 1981 with his novel Midnight’s Children, had been given a fatwa for his 1988 book. The book Devil’s Verses led to a fatwa, a religious decree, from then-Iranian revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. . The threat forced him to go into hiding for several years.
In response to the incident, veteran Bollywood lyricist Javed Akhtar condemned the barbaric attack. “I condemn the barbaric attack on Salman Rushdie by some fanatic. I hope the New York police and courts will take the strongest action against the attacker,” Javed Akhtar tweeted.
Meanwhile, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted: “Shocked that Sir Salman Rushdie was stabbed while exercising a right that we should never cease to defend. At the moment my thoughts are with his loved ones. We all hope he is okay.”
And Britain’s Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “Shocked and appalled to hear of the unprovoked and senseless attack on Sir Salman Rushdie. Freedom of expression is a value we hold dear and attempts to undermine them should not be tolerated. My thoughts are with Sir Salman and his family.”
“State Police are investigating an attack on author Salman Rushdie ahead of a speaking engagement at the Chautauqua Institute in Chautauqua, NY,” the statement said. American author Stephen King said, “I hope Salman Rushdie is okay.”
Suzanne Nossel, CEO of PEN America, said they cannot think of a comparable incident of a public violent attack on a literary writer on American soil.
“PEN America is reeling with shock and horror at the word of a brutal, premeditated attack on our former president and staunch ally, Salman Rushdie, who was reportedly stabbed multiple times while speaking onstage at the Chautauqua Institute in the state New York,” says Nossel. said.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.)