Deport Rushdie, says Samajwadi Party


Mumbai : Asking authorities to deport author Salman Rushdie to Britain, the Samajwadi Party youth cell has threatened to stop him from attending film actress Riya Sen’s birthday celebrations in Mumbai next Thursday.

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If Riya persisted in her birthday bash plans, she could face “dire consequences”, as Samajwadi Party activists would lay a siege around her house and prevent her from stepping out, youth cell president Farooq Ghosi said Saturday.

He said Rushdie was expected to attend Riya’s birthday bash at a posh nightclub at Juhu in northwest Mumbai.

He urged the Maharashtra government to immediately deport Rushdie to Britain.

The author of “The Satanic Verses” is returning to Mumbai Wednesday.

During his stay in Mumbai last week, Rushdie became friendly with Riya after a chance meeting at a Juhu discotheque and spent an entire night chatting away with her there.

“If the state government fails to deport him, thousands of Samajwadi Party activists will stop Rushdie’s movements in Mumbai irrespective of the consequences,” Ghosi told IANS.

He also alleged that the Congress-led governments in the state and in New Delhi are “insulting” the sentiments of 200 million Indian Muslims and forcing them to revolt over this issue. He even apprehended law and order problems if the state government did not heed the Samajwadi Party demand.

This is the second time in January that Rushdie will be in Mumbai. He was here for a week as the guest of the Godrej family and stayed at their Juhu bungalow.

The Samajwadi Party had then demonstrated outside the bungalow and burnt his effigy. However, unperturbed by these aberrations, Rushdie went about his social engagements in the city under top category Z-plus security provided by the state government.

Several Muslim organisations including the Ulema Council demanded an apology from Adi Godrej for hosting Rushdie and failing that announced a boycott of all products of the Godrej business house.

Rushdie left Mumbai Thursday and plans to return next Thursday after attending a literary festival in Jaipur.