Jaipur: Controversial author Salman Rushdie has confirmed that he would not be attending the Jaipur Literature Festival. The festival which kicked off today in the capital city of Rajasthan, was to host the noted author on two days during the festival.
In a statement, Rushdie said that he had got intelligence reports from Mumbai and Rajasthan police that paid assassins were on their way to Jaipur.
Festival organisers read out the statement by the Booker Prize winning author, which said, "For several days I have made no public comments on this issue at the request of local authorities hoping that they would put in place arrangements to allow me to come and speak.
"But I have been informed by intelligence sources in Maharashtra and Rajasthan that paid assassins from Mumbai underworld might be on their way to eliminate me. While I have doubts about these intelligence inputs, it would be irresponsible for me to come and endanger the life of fellow authors and others," the 64-year-old author said.
Ever since the news of Rushdie visit to the lit fest broke out, several Islamic groups have been protesting against his visit. Fearing law and order situation in the state, Rajasthan Chief Minister asked the organizers of the festival to ask Rushdie to cancel his trip to India.
Even though, the events in which Rushdie was to participate were cancelled, there were rumours that he would be attending the writer’s ball.
A disappointed Rushdie tweeted, ""Very sad not to be at jaipur. I was told bombay mafia don issued weapons to 2 hitmen to 'eliminate' me. Will do video link instead. Damn.(sic)"