By Enyichukwu Enemanna
75-year-old Indian-born British Author, Sir Salman Rushdie is on a ventilator and may lose an eye after he was stabbed on stage in New York State, his agent Andrew Wylie said on Saturday.
He sustained nerve damage to his arm and damage to his liver, according to Wylie
New York State Police have named the suspected attacker as Hadi Matar, 24, of Fairview, New Jersey, who was taken into custody following the incident.
Sir Salman, whose writing led to death threats from Iran in the 1980s, was about to deliver a lecture at the Chautauqua Institution when the incident occurred.
He was stabbed at least once in the neck and once in the abdomen, according to police officials, before he was air lifted to hospital.
Mr Wylie said he is on a ventilator and unable to speak.
He added the news was “not good” and that the author will “likely lose one eye.”
He said the nerves in Sir Salman’s arm were severed in the attack and that his liver was “stabbed and damaged.”
Major Eugene Staniszweski said at a press conference on Friday: “Earlier today at approximately 10.47am, guest speaker Salman Rushdie, aged 75, and Ralph Henry Reese, age 73, had just arrived on stage at the institution.
“Shortly thereafter, the suspect jumped on to the stage and attacked Mr Rushdie, stabbing him at least once in the neck and at least once in the abdomen.
“Several members of the staff at the institution and audience members rushed the suspect and took him to the ground, and shortly thereafter, a trooper who was at the institution took the suspect into custody with the assistance of a Chautauqua County Sheriff’s deputy.
“Mr Rushdie was provided medical treatment by a doctor who was in the audience until EMS arrived on scene.
“Mr Rushdie was airlifted to a local trauma centre and is still currently undergoing surgery.”
His book, The Satanic Verses, has been banned in Iran since 1988, as many Muslims view it as blasphemous, and its publication prompted Iran’s then-leader Ayatollah Khomeini to issue a fatwa calling for his death.