Rushdie visit: MHA asks Raj, Delhi Police to remain alert

The Centre today asked the Rajasthan and Delhi Police to take all possible steps to deal with any law and order situation arising out of a possible visit of controversial writer Salman Rushdie to take part in the Jaipur Literature Festival.

Salman Rushdie. AFP/File Photo

The Home Ministry advisory asked the two police forces to remain alert and deploy adequate forces in all sensitive locations to deal with any situation and protests that may be staged if Rushdie turns up in the country in the next few days, official sources said.

The issuance of the advisory is an indication that the writer may turn up in the country to attend the literary meet.

The advisory was issued a day after Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot conveyed to Home Minister P Chidambaram that the writer's visit was being resented by the local people, and could lead to trouble.

The organisers of the festival said they stand by their invitation to the 'Midnight's Children' author.
A revised schedule of the five-day literary gathering and its sessions made no mention of Rushdie's appearance. However, the author figures in the list of speakers.

Sources said the government has the option of restricting Rushdie's travel in the country after assessing the law and order situation.

The festival organisers came out with an ambiguous statement, leaving everyone guessing.
"Salman Rushdie will not be in India on 20th January due to a change in his schedule. The festival stands by its invitation to Mr Rushdie," festival producer Sanjoy K Roy had said.

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