'Will Likely Lose an Eye': Salman Rushdie's Agent After Stabbing in New York

The assailant, who is in custody right now, stabbed the 75-year-old author in the abdomen and the neck.

2 min read
Edited By :Tejas Harad

Video Producer: Mayank Chawla

Video Editor: Shohini Bose

Salman Rushdie, who was attacked ahead of a lecture in western New York, is on a ventilator, not able to speak, and will likely lose an eye, his agent told Reuters on Friday, 12 August.

"The news is not good. Salman will likely lose one eye; the nerves in his arm were severed; and his liver was stabbed and damaged," Andrew Wylie informed in emails.

"The doctor immediately began first aid on Rushdie," said Major Eugene Staniszewski of the New York State Police in a press conference. He was "undergoing surgery" about 5 pm local time, a few hours after the attack.

The assailant, who is in custody right now, stabbed the 75-year-old author in the abdomen and the neck, according to the police and some witnesses.

After the suspect had been apprehended, eyewitnesses said that they saw blood running down Rushdie's cheek.

A physician, Rita Landman, who had come to attend the lecture, said that Rushdie appeared to have multiple stab wounds, according to the New York Times.


The suspect, Hadi Matar, 24, who is from Fairview, New Jersey, has been taken into custody, Staniszewski added in the press conference.

He also said that the authorities are unaware about the motive "at this time. But we are working with the FBI, the Sheriff's Office and we will determine."

Dr Martin Haskell, a physician who was among the first ones to help Rushdie, described the author’s wounds as “serious but recoverable,” AP reported.

Further, an Associated Press reporter witnessed the attacker confront Rushdie on stage at the Chautauqua Institution and stab or punch him 10 to 15 times as he was being introduced.

The attack has garnered condemnation from world leaders, writers, Indian authors and politicians.

'The Satanic Verses' Controversy

Rushdie's 1988 book 'The Satanic Verses' has been banned in Iran since 1988. It is also banned in several other countries, including India, which banned it before Iran. In 2015, Congress leader P Chidambaram accepted that the book should not have been banned.

Iran's late leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, had issued a fatwa, or edict, calling for Rushdie's death. The country had also offered over $3 million in reward for anyone who killed Rushdie.

While the Japanese translator of 'The Satanic Verses', Hitoshi Igarashi, was stabbed to death in 1991, its Italian translator Ettore Capriolo was seriously injured in a stabbing the same year. The Norway publisher of the book William Nygaard was shot three times in an attempted assassination in 1993, but survived.

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