Mamata blocked my arrival in Kolkata: Salman Rushdie

New Delhi, Feb 1: Author Salman Rushdie on Friday tweeted that West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had asked the state administration to block his arrival in Kolkata for a promotional event for Midnight's Children, a film adapted on his novel of the same name. The film is directed by Deepa Mehta.

Rushdie's tweet read: "The simple fact is that the Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee ordered the police to block my arrival."

Banerjee allegedly gave the orders after fringe Muslim groups protested against Rushdie's visit to the state capital. The author's visit was cancelled after the Kolkata Police informed the organisers of the protests planned against him.

Sources in the police said the event organisers were never asked to stop Rushdie from coming to Kolkata and instead had offered security for him and the film crew. The police said it was the organisers' decision to cancel Rushdie's arrival. The film's publicity wing claimed that the author had called off the event for he was tired of travelling across the country. Rushdie had visited Delhi, Bangalore and Mumbai prior to the controversy in Kolkata.

Rushdie also tweeted slamming Trinamool Congress MP Saugata Roy after the latter said that he was given a friendly advice to stay away from Kolkata. His tweet on Roy said: "Ridiculous, Saugata Roy. I did not get "friendly advice" to stay away from Kolkata. I was told the police would put me on next plane out."

He also took a dig at the event organisers, saying the latter were lying by saying that he wasn't invited. "Finally re Kolkata: the lit meet organizers are lying when they say I wasn't invited. I have emails and plane tkt sent by them to prove it," Roy tweeted.

The author also alleged that the city police had given his itinerary to the media and called Muslim leaders, inciting protests.

OneIndia News

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