‘Govt has nothing to do with Rushdie`s decision’

Congress leader Digvijay Singh on Friday said that the government had nothing to do with author Salman Rushdie`s move to call off his India visit.

Last Updated: Jan 20, 2012, 17:13 PM IST

Lucknow: Congress leader Digvijay Singh on Friday
said author Salman Rushdie`s move to call off his India visit
was his "personal decision" and the government had nothing to
do with it.

"Calling off the visit is Rushdie`s personal decision
and the government has nothing to do with it," Digvijay told
reporters here in a reply to a question.

"Who has stopped him?... He does not need a visa to come
to India," he said, adding "there is no law" to stop the
author from visiting the country.

Islamic seminary Darul Uloom Deoband and various
Muslim groups had opposed Rusdie`s visit to the country
to attend Jaipur Literature Festival.

After days of speculation, the controversial author called
off his visit citing security issues.
Festival organisers read out a 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," 64-year-old Rushdie said.

PTI