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Salman Rushdie once complained about ‘too much security’ around him: Report

Author Salman Rushdie is helped by people after he was stabbed on stage before his scheduled speech at the Chautauqua Institution, Chautauqua, New York, U.S., August 12, 2022.

Author Salman Rushdie is helped by people after he was stabbed on stage before his scheduled speech at the Chautauqua Institution, Chautauqua, New York, U.S., August 12, 2022. | Photo Credit: Reuters

Salman Rushdie, who was attacked and stabbed on stage at a literary event, has previously complained about having too much security around him, according to a media report on August 13, 2022.

The Mumbai-born writer, who faced death threats for years after writing "The Satanic Verses", was stabbed by a 24-year-old New Jersey resident identified as Hadi Matar on stage on Friday while he was being introduced at the event of the Chautauqua Institution in Western New York.

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A bloodied Rushdie was airlifted from a field adjacent to the venue to a hospital in northwestern Pennsylvania where the 75-year-old writer underwent surgery.

In 2001, Mr. Rushdie publicly complained about having too much security around him, The New York Post reported.

While attending the Prague Writers' Festival, he told reporters, “To be here and to find a large security operation around me has actually felt a little embarrassing... I thought it was really unnecessary and kind of excessive and was certainly not arranged at my request."

“I spent a great deal of time before I came here saying that I really didn’t want that. So I was very surprised to arrive here and discover a really quite substantial operation, because it felt like being in a time warp, that I had gone back in time several years,” he was quoted as saying.

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Mr. Rushdie was stabbed in the neck as he was on the stage at the Chautauqua Institution, a not-for-profit community on Chautauqua Lake in southwestern New York State, where approximately 7,500 people are in residence on any day during a nine-week season.

Following the attack on Friday, questions were raised about the security precautions — or lack thereof — at the host institution, which sits in a rural lake resort about 110 km south of Buffalo, New York.

The institution's leadership had rejected recommendations for basic security measures, including bag checks and metal detectors, fearing that would create a divide between speakers and the audience, according to two sources who spoke with CNN.

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The leadership also feared that it would change the culture at the institution, the sources said.


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Printable version | Aug 14, 2022 1:40:03 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/salman-rushdie-once-complained-about-too-much-security-around-him-report/article65764710.ece