The organisers, however, put up a brave front and maintained the festival would go ahead as planned. Festival producer Sanjoy Roy said the Pakistani authors would be participating.
Roy also responded to the warning by clerics who wanted Jeet Thayil, Ruchir Joshi, Hari Kunzru and Amitava Kumar to stay away.
“These are fringe Muslim elements. They don’t represent anyone. This is terrorism at its worst. These people should air their views in a peaceful manner,” he said.
Last year, cases were filed against all four by Muslim activists. Rushdie, who was slated to attend the festival, had to cancel his visit after the protests.
Jaipur commissioner BL Soni said police would ensure law and order: “We’ll provide 100 armed police personnel, but organisers have been asked to ensure that no one’s feelings are hurt.”