An angry Salman Rushdie Sunday accused the Rajasthan Police of
concocting a supposed death threat to keep him away from the
Jaipur Literature Festival. However, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot
denied the charges.
"I've investigated, and believe I was indeed lied to. I am
outraged and very angry," Rushdie posted on micro-blogging site
He added that he did not know who gave the orders to police to
come up with the lie.
"Don't know... Yes, I guess the same police who want to arrest
Hari, Amitava, Jeet and Ruchir. Disgusting," wrote the
Authors Hari Kunzru, Amitava Kumar, Jeet Thayil and Ruchir Joshi
read passages from Rushdie's "The Satanic Verses" on the first day
of the festival, after Rushdie pulled out of the event citing
threats to him.
Rajasthan Police, refusing to comment on the issue, have sought a
copy of the video from the organisers of the reading session, a
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said Rushdie's charges were
"It is not true. The government had made all arrangements for his
security because it was our duty. If we get an advisory from the
centre (central government) about a threat to the life of a
certain person then we have to make the arrangements for his
security," Gehlot told reporters here.
Gehlot said Rushdie was a Person of Indian Origin and does not
require a visa to come to India.
"But if there is some threat to his life due to anger among a
group of people and if feel that could affect law and order, then
we have to see as it is a popular festival," he said.
Meanwhile, Muslim groups have threatened to move the court against
the four writers for reading out excerpts from "The Satanic
Verses", which is banned in India.
Rajasthan Police have stepped up security at the Diggi Palace, the
venue of the five-day literature festival that began Friday.