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Police complaint against 'The Satanic Verses' reading

A complaint has been lodged with the police here against the four authors who read out excerpts from Salman Rushdie's "The Satanic Verses" in an unscheduled session of the Jaipur Literature Festival, police said Sunday

The complainant, Ashok Kumar, a resident of Vashali Nagar area, here has claimed that the four authors -- Hari Kunzru, Amitava Kumar, Jeet Thayil and Ruchir Joshi -- read out the passages from the book which is banned in several countries across the world including India.

"We received the complaint on Friday, but have asked the complainant to provide us with some evidence supporting his claim that these authors actually read out the excerpts from the book which is banned in the country for over 20 years," a senior police officer told IANS.

The officer said that the complaint has not been turned into a first information report (FIR) against the authors.

"We will look into the authenticity of the complaint and various aspects of the law associated with it before proceeding further," the officer said.

Rajasthan Police Saturday stepped up security at the Diggi Palace, the venue of the festival, after Friday's incident.

Some Muslim organisations, who had opposed Rushdie's visit to the literature fest for authoring this book, had condemned the incident. Rushdie called off his visit Friday, citing security reasons.

"We have come to know that some authors tried to read out excerpts from the controversial book written by Salman Rushdie yesterday (Friday) evening. It was a very unfortunate incident and will not be tolerated," Muzzafar Bharati from the Muslim Ekta Manch told reporters here Saturday.

Muslim organisations have threatened to move court against the authors reading out the passages.

Bharati added that the organisation is contemplating filing a police complaint.

Over 60,000 people, including 260 authors from across the globe, are expected to gather at the festival that started Friday. Three-layered security is in place after threats over Rushdie's visit.

Officials said this is the first time such security arrangements have been made at one of Asia's biggest literature festivals which will conclude Tuesday.

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