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Salman Rushdie was guarded by TWO cops onstage who watched as author was stabbed

A trooper and deputy were assigned to provide security at the event at the request of the Chautauqua Institution
UPDATED AUG 14, 2022
Salman Rushdie has been taken off the ventilator after sustaining severe injuries in a stabbing attack  (Hannelore Foerster/Getty Images)
Salman Rushdie has been taken off the ventilator after sustaining severe injuries in a stabbing attack (Hannelore Foerster/Getty Images)

CHAUTAUQUA, NEW YORK: In spite of two police officers guarding the Chautauqua Institution in New York, author Salman Rushdie was stabbed up to 15 times onstage on Friday, August 12, as he prepared to give a lecture. The 'Midnight's Children' author was taken off the ventilator and was able to talk on Saturday, August 13, a day after he was stabbed by Hadi Matar, 24 who is currently being held without bail. 

Rushdie, who sustained severe wounds, remained in the hospital, although author Aatish Taseer in his now-deleted tweet wrote that Rushdie was "off the ventilator and talking (and joking)" according to Daily Mail which reported that Rushdie's agent, Andrew Wylie confirmed that information.


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The crowd eventually intervened to subdue the attacker despite the presence of two police officers who were serving as security, according to a doctor who witnessed the stabbing at an event in western New York. Speaking to DailyMail, Dr Martin Haskell of Dayton, Ohio said, "The audience subdued the assailant and the state patrolmen quickly then handcuffed him." Haskell added, "Rushdie had both the state trooper and another sheriff's deputy nearby acting as security for the event - but that the knife-wielding assailant still seemed to run onto the stage unobstructed." It's unclear where the officers were standing when the stabbing occurred." A spokesman for the New York State Police stated "Trooper and deputy were assigned to provide security at the event at the request of the Chautauqua Institution."

According to Andrew Wylie, Rushdie had severed nerves in one arm, liver damage, and was probably going to lose an eye as a result of the attack. Speaking about the update on Rushdie's condition, Taseer told NDTV which was posted on Twitter, "I am just happy to tell you that I've received some excellent news from a friend Salman has made it, just hot 90 per cent breathing on his own, brain activity normal alert, one eye open, no blood clots."

In a "preplanned" act, according to the prosecutor, the man accused of attacking Rushdie on Friday at the nonprofit education and retreat center Chautauqua Institution pleaded not guilty to attempted murder and assault charges. During an arraignment in western New York, Hadi Matar's lawyer entered the plea on his behalf. The defendant showed up in court with his hands shackled in front of him, dressed in a black and white jumpsuit with a white face mask. Matar, 24, obtained an advance pass to the event where Rushdie was speaking and showed up a day early with a phony ID, according to District Attorney Jason Schmidt, who told the judge that Matar intended to put himself in a position to hurt Rushdie. The judge ordered him held without bail. 

Wishes poured in on Twitter after learning 'The Satanic Verses' author is off the ventilator and speaking. One user on Twitter wrote, "So glad to hear Salman Rushdie is off the ventilator. He is a great writer. Read Joseph Anton, as I’ve said on here before, to understand what living under threat was like for him. It’s a great memoir. No one should have to live that defensively just because they wrote a novel."

Another user tweeted: "So glad that @SalmanRushdie is off the ventilator, making progress. Wonderful news!"

Another wrote: "Salman Rushdie is off the ventilator and talking! Doctors and Nurses are Miracle working Angels!" "Salman Rushdie is off a ventilator and able to talk. Crossing everything for his speedy recovery. I saw Rushdie speak in the mid-noughties at the Warwick Arts Centre. Such a warm, intelligent, and fearless human being and writer," tweeted another user.

The news was also tweeted by Michael Hill, the president of the Chautauqua Institution where the attack took place. He wrote, "@SalmanRushdie off ventilator and talking! Continued prayers from all @chq"

Another user tweeted, "Good news: Rushdie is doing better: off ventilator and talking. Authors, activists, and officials cited Rushdie’s courage and longtime advocacy of free speech despite the risks. It’s never easy to defend free expression against would-be censors."







In 1947, Rushdie was born in Bombay, India. Prior to enrolling in the University of Cambridge to study history, he was sent to a boarding school in England. He was knighted in 2007 for his contributions to literature. Rushdie has received a flood of support, and the attack has been roundly denounced as a violation of the right to free speech.

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