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Salman Rushdie loses sight in one eye, one hand incapacitated

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Kashmir News Trust #KNT Web Desk

Salman Rushdie has lost sight in an eye and his one hand is incapacitated following the knife attack on the infamous Indian-born author in August, his literary agent said.

Rushdie, who faced death threats from Muslims for hurting their sentiments for years after writing “The Satanic Verses” book, was stabbed in the neck and stomach on stage in front of a stunned audience by 24-year-old New Jersey resident Hadi Matar, a US national of Lebanese origin.

The attack on the 75-year-old Booker Prize-winning author came as he was getting ready to speak at a literary event at the Chautauqua Institution in Western New York.

Rushdie’s wounds “were profound, but he’s [also] lost the sight of one eye… He had three serious wounds in his neck. One hand is incapacitated because the nerves in his arm were cut. And he has about 15 more wounds in his chest and torso. So, it was a brutal attack,” his literary agent Andrew Wylie told the Spanish-language newspaper El Pa’s in an interview.

When asked if Rushdie was still in the hospital, Wylie said he cannot give any information about the author’s whereabouts.

“He’s going to live, that’s the more important thing,” he said.

He was asked if the attack on Rushdie so many years after the fatwa was issued against him meant that “we’re living at a particularly dangerous time for freedom of expression in the world.”

“I think the attack was probably something that Salman and I have discussed in the past, which was that the principal danger that he faced so many years after the fatwa was imposed is from a random person coming out of nowhere and attacking [him],” Wylie replied.

“So, you can’t protect against that because it’s totally unexpected and illogical. It was like John Lennon’s murder,” he said.

Rushdie spent years in hiding after Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, issued a ‘fatwa’ in 1989 calling for his death. Following the attack, Iran denied any links with the attacker.

Rushdie was born in Mumbai in 1947. He was sent to boarding school in England before studying at the University of Cambridge. In 2007, he was knighted for services to literature.

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