New Delhi [India], August 25 (ANI): Underscoring that India has always stood against violence and extremism, the country on Thursday condemned the stabbing attack on renowned Indian-born British author Salman Rushdie on stage at an event in New York and wished him a speedy recovery.
"India has always stood against violence and extremism. We condemn this horrific act against Salman Rushdie and we wish him a speedy recovery," Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said in a weekly presser.
Hadi Matar, the man accused of stabbing renowned author Salman Rushdie on stage in New York state on August 12, pleaded not guilty to charges of attempted murder and assault.
Matar, 24, made the plea in a courtroom in Chautauqua County, New York, CNN reported. This comes after prosecutors said a grand jury had indicted him.
The suspect, who hails from New Jersey, allegedly stabbed the Indian-born British author in western New York state during a lecture, praised Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini and admitted that he didn't think that the author would survive.
"When I heard he survived, I was surprised, I guess," Hadi Matar said as quoted by the New York Post. The suspect was asked whether he was inspired by the late Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who issued a fatwa against Rushdie over his book 'The Satanic Verses'.
Matar replied, "I respect the Ayatollah. I think he's a great person. That's as far as I will say about that," Matar said, noting he only "read like two pages" of Rushdie's controversial novel. "I read a couple of pages. I didn't read the whole thing cover to cover," he said.
Renowned author Rushdie has long faced death threats over his 1988 book 'The Satanic Verses'. The Booker prize-winning author was attacked as he was about to give a lecture.
Rushdie has suffered years of death threats over the 'The Satanic Verses' which was severely criticised by Islamic clerics. (ANI)