Rushdie should have been allowed to come: Jaitley (Lead, changing dateline)

January 24th, 2012 - 7:10 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Jalandhar, Jan 24 (IANS) Slamming the government for “bowing to fundamentalists”, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Arun Jaitley Tuesday said controversial author Salman Rushdie should have been allowed to come to India.

A much awaited video address by Rushdie at the Jaipur Literature Festival was called off Tuesday following protests by some Muslim groups.

Jaitley, leader of opposition in the Rajya Sabha, said the author should have been given police protection, adding that “bowing to fundamentalists is wrong for any government”.

“Earlier, they bowed before the fundamentalists during the Shah Bano case and later the country had to face the consequences,” Jaitley told reporters here.

Rushdie, whose book “The Satanic Verses” is banned in India, earlier had to cancel his scheduled visit to the festival over security fears.

“He came to India during the Vajpayee government… Obviously, he should have been allowed.

“Even if there was a threat, protection should have been given,” Jaitley said, adding that the Rajasthan government faked a police report to claim a threat to Rushdie’s life.

“I believe the state government, under any law, does not have the right to stop video-conferencing,” he added.

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