New Delhi [India], August 12 (ANI): Veteran Bollywood lyricist Javed Akhtar condemned the barbaric attack on renowned author Salman Rushdie, who was stabbed during a literary festival in the US state of New York on Friday.
"I condemn the barbaric attack on Salman Rushdie by some fanatic. I hope that NY police and the court will take the strongest action possible against the attacker," Javed Akhtar tweeted.
Rushdie, who faced death threats over his book 'The Satanic Verses', was "stabbed" on stage in western New York state but is said to be alive.
A New York Times reporter tweeted that a doctor in the audience said that Rushdie had multiple stab wounds, including one to the neck, and a pool of blood under him.
One of the US media reports said there were no security searches or metal detectors at the event. A witness told CNN the attacker "walked quickly" down an aisle and jumped on stage, approaching the author and "making a stabbing motion with his hand repeatedly."
New York Governor Kathy Hochul also said the author is alive and has been transported to a local hospital. "He is alive and has been transported, airlifted, to safety... The event moderator was attacked as well; he's getting the care he needs at a local hospital," she said.
The New York State Police said in a statement that a male suspect ran up onto the stage prior to a speaking event at the Chautauqua Institution in Chautauqua and attacked Rushdie.
It said the author suffered an apparent stab wound to the neck and was transported by helicopter to an area hospital. A suspect has been taken into custody. The interviewer with Rushdie was also attacked during the incident and he suffered a minor head injury, the police said.
"State Police are investigating an attack on author Salman Rushdie prior to a speaking event at the Chautauqua Institution 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 can think of no comparable incident of a public violent attack on a literary writer on American soil.
"PEN America is reeling from shock and horror at word of a brutal, premeditated attack on our former President and stalwart ally, Salman Rushdie, who was reportedly stabbed multiple times while on stage speaking at the Chautauqua Institute in upstate New York," Nossel said. (ANI)