Rushdie not first to suffer attempt on life by someone who hadn’t read their book
Author Salman Rushdie

New York: Salman Rushdie has been taken off a ventilator and was able to talk, a day after the Mumbai-born author was stabbed, in what US authorities said was a “targeted, unprovoked, preplanned” attack.

Rushdie, who faced Islamist death threats for years after writing “The Satanic Verses”, was stabbed by a 24-year-old New Jersey resident identified as Hadi Matar, the US national of Lebanese origin, on stage on Friday while he was being introduced at a literary event of the Chautauqua Institution in Western New York.

“@SalmanRushdie off ventilator and talking! Continued prayers from all @chq,” Chautauqua Institution president Michael Hill said in a tweet on Saturday night.

Rushdie’s agent, Andrew Wylie, also confirmed the news to the US media.

Rushdie, 75, was put on a ventilator after he was stabbed by Matar.

Earlier on Saturday, Matar pleaded not guilty to charges of attempted murder and assault at a brief court appearance where he was denied bail.

Matar was charged with attempted murder and assault in the stabbing of Rushdie and he pleaded not guilty. He made his appearance in court, wearing a black-and-white striped jumpsuit and handcuffed.

Chautauqua County District Attorney Jason Schmidt provided the details of Rushdie’s injuries in court during Matar’s arraignment Saturday afternoon.

The author’s injuries include three stab wounds to the right side of the front of his neck, four stab wounds to his stomach, a puncture wound to his right eye and chest, and a laceration on his right thigh, according to the county prosecutor.

“This was a targeted, unprovoked, preplanned attack on Mr Rushdie,” Schmidt alleged.

“Matar faces up to 32 years if convicted of both charges,” Schmidt said.

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