Author Salman Rushdie was stabbed in the neck and abdomen at a literary event in New York, US, on Friday. The 75-year-old author is on a ventilator and could lose an eye. Police have identified his attacker.
Reports quoting the author’s agent said that Salman Rushdie suffered severed nerves in an arm and damage to his liver, and could lose an eye.
“The news is not good,” Andrew Wylie, his 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.”
New York state police identified his attacker as Hadi Matar, 24, from New Jersey. “The motive behind the attack remain unclear,” various reports say citing an official statement.
Rushdie was repeatedly stabbed by Hadi Matar who rushed to the stage and attacked him. Henry Reese, the interviewer, also suffered a head injury in the attack, reports said.
Visuals and images circulating on social media showed some people rushing to the stage and taking the suspect to the ground, before a trooper present at the event arrested him.
A doctor in the audience administered medical care until emergency first responders arrived. Rushdie was then airlifted to the hospital where he underwent an emergency surgery.
The attack occurred as Rushdie was about to give a speech at the Chautauqua Institution near the New York city, which holds arts programs. There were around 2,500 people in the audience, who were evacuated later.
New York governor Kathy Hochul condemned the stabbing and hailed Rushdie as “an individual who has spent decades speaking truth to power.” “We condemn all violence, and we want people to be able to feel (the) freedom to speak and to write truth,” she said.