Author Salman Rushdie attacked at New York event, suspect identified: Top points to know

Updated on Aug 13, 2022 05:43 AM IST

Video footage posted on social media showed people rushing to his aid after he was attacked at the event.

Author Salman Rushdie, behind screen left, is tended to after he was attacked during a lecture in New York.(AP)
Author Salman Rushdie, behind screen left, is tended to after he was attacked during a lecture in New York.(AP)

Mumbai-born author Salman Rushdie was attacked on a stage on Friday, minutes before he was set to give a lecture during an event in New York, United States. According to the latest information shared by multiple news agencies, a man stormed the stage as the Mumbai-born author was being introduced by the anchor of the event. He then allegedly "punched and stabbed" Rushdie.

The suspect, who attacked Rushdie, has been identified as Hadi Matar, a 24-year-old man from New Jersey, the New York state police said, adding the motive behind the act was not yet known.

"The suspect has been identified as Hadi Matar, 24, from Fairview, New Jersey. Earlier today, approx. at 10:47 am, the speaker Rushdie,75 and Henry Reese,73 had just arrived at the stage of the institution and shortly thereafter the suspect jumped out of the stage and attacked at least once in the neck and at least once in the abdomen," news agency ANI quoted state police troop commander Major Eugene J. Staniszewski as saying at a press conference.

Here are the top developments on the attack:

1) Rushdie was at the Chautauqua Institution to take part in a discussion about the United States serving as asylum for writers and artists in exile and "as a home for freedom of creative expression," according to the institution’s website.

2) Video footage posted on social media showed people rushing to his aid after he was attacked at the event.

3) The attacker was restrained and was later handed over to police. However, his identity has not yet been released.

ALSO READ | Terrible day for authors everywhere, say Salman Rushdie’s peers after NY attack

4) According to a report by AP, the 75-year-old author fell to the floor following the attack. The event crew quickly surrounded Rushdie and held up his legs, presumably to send more blood to his chest.

5) Rushdie was transported to an area hospital by a helicopter. The author also underwent an emergency surgery after the attack.

After hours of surgery, Rushdie was said to be on a ventilator and unable to speak. "The news is not good," Andrew Wylie, his book agent, wrote in an email. "Salman will likely lose one eye; the nerves in his arm were severed; and his liver was stabbed and damaged."

6) Rushdie has a bounty of over $3 million which was put few years ago and remains till date.

7) He faced death threats for his controversial novel "The Satanic Verses" which some Muslims said contained blasphemous passages. The novel was eventually banned in many countries, including Iran, in 1988.

8) Later, Iran's then Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, pronounced a fatwa, or religious edict, calling upon Muslims to kill the novelist for blasphemy, forcing Rushdie to live under tight security.

9) Rushdie is a recipient of the Booker Prize-1981, which he won for his book “Midnight’s Children.”

10) His other prominent works include 'The Moor's Last Sigh', 'Shalimar the Clown', 'The Enchantress of Florence etc'.

(With agency inputs)

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