Jaipur: Muslim organisations in Rajasthan on Tuesday said they had not posed a life threat to controversial author Salman Rushdie during his proposed visit to the recently concluded Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF).
"Ever since the Jaipur Literature Festival ended with a fiasco on January 24, an impression is being created that Muslim organisations of Rajasthan had issued threats to the life of Rushdie or threatened to disrupt the prestigious literary event by resorting to violence," Rajasthan Muslim Forum said.
"It is absolutely wrong. We wish to clarify that the Rajasthan Muslim Forum or any of its constituent organisations has nothing to do with the threat perception claimed by the intelligence agencies," Kari Moinuddin, secretary of the umbrella body of Muslim bodies, said in a statement.
He said Rushdie's visit to Jaipur and his video-conference address at JLF were cancelled after negotiations between the Rajasthan Police and the organisers and the forum were not a party to it.
Mohammad Salim Engineer, National secretary of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind and member of the body, said the forum had only announced its intention to hold demonstrations if Rushdie came to Jaipur, which was an "exercise of our democratic rights."
"Any suggestion that we were intimidating the state government or threatening the JLF organisers is ludicrous...We only advised the organisers and police that since Rushdie's himself has cancelled his visit, his appearance through video conference would be provocative because he has a history of provoking people and hurting their sentiments," he said.
Rushdie cancelled his visit to the literary extravaganza held earlier this month after suspecting a threat to his life for his book 'The Satanic Verses.' A video conference scheduled with him on the last day of the festival was also cancelled because of fears of violence.