Salman Rushdie under SIMI threat: Centre

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: The Centre on Wednesday issued an alert about a nefarious plan by a leader of Students Islamic Movement of India, targeting controversial author Salman Rushdie in case he plans to attend the Jaipur Literature Festival 2012.

Reports are rife that Mumbai-based Raza Academy plans to humiliate the ‘Satanic Verses’ author. As per the home ministry, Saeed Noorie, general secretary of Raza Academy has announced a ‘reward’ of Rs 1 lakh to anyone who hurls a slipper at Salman Rushdie.

Home ministry believes that SIMI leader Saquib Nachan (co-accused in the 2003 Mulund blast case in Mumbai) was ‘exploring the option of targeting Rushdie during his visit.’

In the wake of threats, the Centre has asked both Rajasthan and Delhi to “make adequate security arrangements to ensure protection to Rushdie and for maintaining peace and communal harmony.”

Meanwhile, Rajasthan government is pressurising the organizers of the literary festival to keep Rushdie away. In fact, Rajasthan CM Gehlot said in Jaipur, “Organisers should themselves step forward to ensure that things don`t come to such a pass where there is a law and order situation. Government wishes that no such eventuality arises.”

The Jaipur Literary Festival organizers on Tuesday said that Rushdie would not attend the inaugural event of the literary festival.