Indian-born celebrated author Salman Rushdie, who was stabbed in the neck and abdomen at a New York literary event on Friday, was on a ventilator after surgery, his agent wrote in an email.
His book agent Andrew Wylie further wrote that the 75-year-old author, who has faced threats for years for his book, The Satanic Verses, might lose one eye. 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, Wylie wrote.
According to wire reports, Rushdie was about to deliver a speech on artistic freedom at New York's Chautauqua Institution, where around 2,500 people had gathered to listen to him. A man, later identified as Hadi Matar, rushed to the stage and lunged at the novelist. The author fell on the stage and the crew there surrounded him and held up his legs so that the blood flow to his chest doesn't stop.
Rushdie was flown to the UPMC Hamot Surgery Center in Eerie, Pennsylvania, where he was operated on. According to the latest information shared by multiple news agencies, Rushdie and Henry Reese, 73, had just arrived at the stage of the institution for the event, according to the latest information shared by multiple news agencies. The suspect jumped out of the stage and attacked the author at least once in the neck and once in the abdomen, state police troop commander Major Eugene J. Staniszewski told reporters at a press conference. Reese also suffered minor head injuries, the reports said.
After hours of surgery, Rushdie was said to be on a ventilator and unable to speak even after hours of surgery, his agent wrote in the email.
The federal investigators and the police are trying to determine the motive behind the attack.
Matar, 24, of Fairview, New Jersey, had bought the event pass. Matar is a supporter of fundamental forces in Iran, which had issued a fatwa in the 1990s for Rushdie's literary work, according to news reports.
Iran's Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini had issued a fatwa following his novel, The Satanic Verses, which was described as offensive to Islam. The fatwa was never formally revoked. The author has lived in hiding most of his life, but in 1998 the Iranian government said it would not back the fatwa. In recent years Iranian units, some affiliated with the government, have raised millions of dollars for Rushdie's murder. In 2019, Khomeini's successor Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that the fatwa was irrevocable.