Govt in dilemma over Salman Rushdie's Jaipur visit

The Rajasthan government has conveyed the Centre of its assessment, views and sentiments of various Muslim oufits over the proposed visit of controversial author Salman Rushdie for attending Jaipur Literature Festival here and was waiting for the reply from the latter before deciding on its course of action. In an informal chat with reporters here this afternoon Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said, the state government had conveyed the status report to the Home Ministry in this regard. Mr Gehlot said, "We are yet to receive response/directive from the Centre in this regard but this much is certain that the state government would take a decision, if required, in this regard keeping in mind sentiments of various organisations and implications on the law and order, due to the visit.
A number of Muslim outfits including Darul Uloom Deoband and Muslim Ekta Manch--a joint forum of a number of Ajmer based Muslim organisations and even the ruling Congress and the opposition BJP minority cell have demanded ban on Rushdie's visit and threatened to organise aggressive agitation, if the British author of Indian origin, was not prevented to pay the visit. "We want that the state government and the event organisers should act in-time to stop him, before the situation gets out of control, or we shall take on the roads to see that he does not attend the meet", a protesting outfit spokesman's said. BJP minority cell's state general secretary, Munawar Khan has threatened of dire consequences if Rushdie comes to Jaipur to take part in the festival. Darul Uloom spokesman Maulana Abul Qasim Nomani urged the government to cancel Rushdie's visa as he had hurt the religious sentiments of Muslims in the his novel 'Satanic Verses'. Certain Ajmer based Muslim outfit have also protested the author's visit and sent memorandum to Chief Minister demanding ban on the visit.