Salman Rushdie's Kolkata visit cancelled, cops plead ignorance even as protesters gather outside airport

Salman Rushdie

Controversial author Salman Rushdie's visit to Kolkata to promote Deepa Mehta's film 'Midnight's Children', based on his novel, has been cancelled due to security issues.

A source close to the film said they had planned some promotional activities involving him including a press conference but were forced to cancel it at the last minute after finding problems at the security level.

Joint Commissioner of Police (headquarters) Javed Shamim however said, "We did not have any prior information of his (Rushdie) arrival in the city. We do not know anything about it."

The author was scheduled to be in the city with director Deepa Mehta and actor Rahul Bose.

Sources said Deepa has also cancelled her visit to the city where she was scheduled to participate in a discussion on the film at the second edition of Kolkata Literary Meet (KLM) being held at the Kolkata Book Fair.

Meanwhile, anticipating Rushdie's arrival in the city around a hundred people from various Muslim groups had gathered at the Kolkata airport in the morning to protest against him.

After they were told by the airport police that the author of 'Satanic Verses' is not coming down to Kolkata from Mumbai they dispersed.

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