New Delhi: Noted author Salman Rushdie is currently on ventilator support and repots suggest that he is likely to lose an eye after ghastly attack on him left him seriously wounded. The attacker was soon apprehended after the attack and has been identified as 24-year-old Hadi Matar, a resident of New Jersey.
Hadi Matar attacked Rushdie soon after he took the podium for addressing the the literary event at the auditorium. Some eyewitnesses said that he was stabbed 10-15 times by the assailant.
Who is Hadi Matar?
The New York Police told media that the attacker Hadi Matar jumped on stage soon after Rushdie took the podium and stabbed him in neck & abdomen.
New York cops are investigating the case and interrogating him. The intent and motive behind the knife attack at Rushdie is yet to be established.
The prima facie probe establishes that the accused was working alone & was not a part of any terror group, however, detailed report is yet to come.
What people saw at stage?
Those attending the literary event told news channels that Hadi Matar had covered himself in full black clothing & was also wearing a mask.
Initially, the eyewitnesses thought the attacker was either a ruse or was part of the program. However, within minutes it became apparent that Salman Rushdie was attacked. Chaos broke among the people while many rushed to rescue the author.
Eyewitnesses told media that Rushdie was stabbed at least 10-15 times on stage. An AP reporter who was part of the event confirmed the same.
Even, the event’s moderator Henry Reese was also attacked. Both Reese & Rushdie were slated to speak about US has become a haven for exiled artists.
Does Hadi Matar has an ‘Iranian connection?’
As cops scanned Matar’s social media, they came across his support for Iranian government and also sympathetic to ‘Shia extremism’. He reportedly had a picture of Ayatollah Khomeini and Ayatollah Khamenei on his Facebook page.
Khomeini, the Iranian president during 1980s had issued a fatwa against Salman Rushdie as latter’s publication ‘The Satanic Verses’ left the community agitated & enraged.
Police is also investigating links between Matar and Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Cops (IRGC), which is a branch of Iranian Armed Forces. Police team reportedly found images of Qassem Solemani, the Iranian commander killed in 2020, in his cell phone messaging app.