The police are still policing the writers who read from The Satanic Verses at the Jaipur festival yesterday.
A day after author Salman Rushdie made it clear that he would not be coming to India, alleging that he was told that underworld hitmen were out to get him, the raging debate at the Jaipur Literature Festival is still on. The police have now asked for the tape recordings of author Amitava Kumar reading out excerpts from Mr Rushdie’s controversial book – Satanic Verses – which is illegal in India. The organisers of the event, however, have refused to hand over the tapes.
Authors Hari Kunzru and Amitava Kumar, as a mark of protest, used their session at the festival to read from Satanic Verses. Later, authors Jeet Thayil and Ruchir Joshi also read out from the banned book. “We asked organisers today to provide us details and video footage of a session in which the book was allegedly read,” Jaipur Police Additional Commissioner Biju George Joseph said.
“We will examine whether the alleged reading from the banned book was done. It is a suo motu action. After examining the matter, appropriate action would be taken against those who were found guilty,” he said.