A 24-year-old New Jersey man who stabbed Mumbai-born author Salman Rushdie at a literary event in New York state is facing charges of attempted murder and assault, police said on Saturday.
The New York State Police Jamestown, which is investigating the attack on prior to a speaking event at the Chautauqua Institution in Chautauqua, said that on Friday the Bureau of Criminal Investigation arrested Hadi Matar of Fairview, New Jersey for “attempted murder 2nd degree and assault 2nd degree”.
Matar was processed at SP Jamestown and transported to Chautauqua County Jail and will be arraigned in centralised arraignment on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Chautauqua County Executive Paul Wendel in a statement said on behalf of all Chautauqua County residents, he extends his thoughts and prayers to the family and friends of Rushdie.
“The small tranquil community of the Chautauqua Institution has been shaken to its core by an act of violence, which has reverberated across Chautauqua County and Western New York. It is disappointing that we live in a society where we cannot listen to the differences of others, especially in a place like the Institution where thinkers and problem solvers from around the world come to share their stories,” he said.
Wendel thanked all of the emergency and law enforcement agencies who he said have done a tremendous job in responding to this horrific event. “It is through their quick response that they were able to mitigate the situation and capture the alleged assailant.”
Rushdie, who faced Islamist death threats for years after writing “The Satanic Verses”, was stabbed by Matar on stage while he was being introduced at a literary event of the Chautauqua Institution in Western New York, sending shockwaves across the literary world which condemned the incident as an attack on freedom of expression. He was on a ventilator with damaged liver and may lose an eye, the 75-year-old writer’s agent, Andrew Wylie, has told the New York Times.