The festival organizers arranged for the author to participate instead by a satellite video link. However, at the last moment, as Mr. Rushdie was on his way to the studio to begin his talk, the Jaipur police warned the organizers that they would be unable to prevent violence if Mr. Rushdie spoke as scheduled.
That was too much for the festival leaders, and they cut the video link to avoid inciting the Muslim mob that had gathered outside the venue.
Here’s a TV news report about what happened:
Hat tip: Vlad Tepes.