Salman Rushdie will not attend a literature festival in India, a director of the event told Reuters on Friday, after protests from some Indian Muslim groups who called for the controversial author to be banned from entering the country.
A planned protest by Muslim leaders in Jaipur, the city where Rushdie was scheduled to speak at Asia's largest literature festival, was cancelled on Friday after media reports said the author had been asked not to attend.
The vice-chancellor of India's Darul Uloom Deoband seminary said last week that Rushdie, who does not require a visa to visit India, should be prevented from entering the country, accusing the 65-year-old of offending Muslim sentiments.
Rushdie would not be attending the festival and would instead participate via a video-link, festival director William Dalrymple said on Friday.
Rushdie, whose 1988 novel the Satantic Verses is banned in India, was due to speak on the first day of the five-day Jaipur Literature Festival but organisers removed his name from the schedule last week.
The festival's directors had previously asserted that the invitation to Rushdie, who won the Booker Prize for Midnight's Children, still stood and that his speech would be rescheduled.
The publication of the Satanic Verses over 20 years ago sparked a wave of protests around the world after Iranian leader Ayatollah Khomeini claimed that the novel's portrayal of the prophet Mohammad insulted Islam.
(Reporting by Henry Foy; Editing by John Chalmers)