Salman Rushdie latest news: Eye witnesses recall thinking the act was a ‘stunt'1 min read 13 Aug 2022, 05:18 PM IST
‘We thought perhaps it was part of a stunt to show that there’s still a lot of controversy around this author,’ said an eye witness
Novelist and essayist Salman Rushdie, who spent years in hiding after an Iranian fatwa ordered his killing for his book "The Satanic Verses', was stabbed on Friday while he was about to deliver a lecture in the tranquil town of Chautauqua.
Read below for some eye witnesses' account
Rabbi Charles Savenor was among the roughly 2,500 people in the audience. Amid gasps, spectators were ushered out of the outdoor amphitheater.
The assailant ran onto the platform “and started pounding on Mr. Rushdie. At first you’re like, ‘What’s going on?’ And then it became abundantly clear in a few seconds that he was being beaten," Savenor said. He said the attack lasted about 20 seconds.
Another spectator, Kathleen James, said the attacker was dressed in black, with a black mask.
“We thought perhaps it was part of a stunt to show that there’s still a lot of controversy around this author. But it became evident in a few seconds" that it wasn’t, she said.
An AP reporter who witnessed the incident at the Chautauqua Institution, where Rushdie was about to give a lecture said that the attacker, later identified as Hadi Matar, 24, of Fairview, New Jersey, confronted the author and started to ‘stab or punch him 10 to 15 times as he was being introduced’. Following this Rushdie fell to the ground.
According to the report, Dr. Martin Haskell, a physician who was at the spot and among the first few who ran to Rushdie's aid had mentioned that Rushdie’s wounds as “serious but recoverable."
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